A few Sri Lanka cricketers have refused to travel to Pakistan for the limited-overs Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2019 series. This series will feature six matches, consisting of three ODIs and three T20 Internationals. The tour is scheduled to begin around September and October this year. There will also be two Test matches, which will take place in the United Arab Emirates. The change in venue was necessary because Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) didn’t accept Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) request to arrange the games in Pakistan.
According to a report by Express News, Pakistan’s Urdu news channel, both cricket boards held a long discussion on the issue, before the tour was finalised. However, Sri Lanka’s wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella and all-rounder Thisara Perera did not want to participate in the tour. The report also said that there are some other players also who were unwilling to go to Pakistan for the series, although the squads have not yet been announced.
However, some experienced players like Dickwella and Perera wished to feature in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which will play between September 4 and October 12. In light of this, they have sought permission from the Sri Lanka Cricket Board for this.
Although this is not new, players are wary of playing there, especially after the dangerous terrorist attack that took place. The Sri Lankan team bus was attacked near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, in 2009. Safety concerns is one of the primary reasons why most of the international teams refuse to visit Pakistan. However, they played a two-match Test series recently which was included the ICC World Test Championship.
Fixtures of Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2019 series:
27 Sep – 1st ODI, Karachi
29 Sep – 2nd ODI, Karachi
2 Oct – 3rd ODI, Karachi
5 Oct – 1st T20I, Lahore
7 Oct – 2nd T20I, Lahore
9 Oct – 3rd T20I, Lahore