Harin denies reports of India influencing SL players

2019-09-11 at 07:51

Minister of Sports Harin Fernando has rejected a Pakistan Minister’s claims that India influenced Sri Lanka to opt out of the upcoming Pakistan tour saying the cricketers’ decision was “purely based” on the 2009 incident.

Minister Fernando tweeted “No truth to reports that India influenced Sri Lankan players not to play in Pakistan. Some decided not to play purely based on the 2009 incident. Respecting their decision, we picked players who were willing to travel. We have a full-strength team & we hope to beat Pakistan in Pakistan”.

The Sports Minister’s response comes in wake of Pakistan Science and Technology Minister Fawad Choudary’s remarks that Lankan cricketers opted out from the tour after India threatened to oust them from the Indian Premier League.

The Pakistan Minister said informed sports commentators told him that India threatened Sri Lankan players that they’ll be ousted from the IPL if they don’t refuse the Pakistan visit.

On Monday, 10 Sri Lankan national players opted-out of the upcoming tour to Pakistan citing security concerns.

Sri Lanka is set to visit Pakistan after nearly two years to play three ODIs and three T201 matches from September 27 to October 19.

The players who opted out of the series include Lasith Malinga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne.

In 2009, the Sri Lankan team were on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium for a Test match against Pakistan when terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi organisation fired at the bus.

The shooting killed eight persons while seven Lankan players and staff were injured.