Sri Lanka T20I captain Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella have opted out of the tour to Pakistan which will start from September 27. However, Afridi has said that some Sri Lankan players had earlier told him that they were threatened by IPL franchises regarding their tour to Pakistan.
“Sri Lankan players are under pressure from IPL franchises. I spoke to Sri Lanka players last time when there was talk of them coming to Pakistan and playing in PSL. They said they wanted to come, but IPL guys say if you go to Pakistan we won’t give you a contract,” senior Pakistani journalist Saj Sadiq on Twitter quoted Afridi as saying.
Afridi further added that Sri Lanka Cricket Board should put pressure on their players to tour to Pakistan.
“Pakistan’s always supported Sri Lanka, it never happened that we had a tour of Sri Lanka and our players rested. Sri Lanka’s board should put pressure on their contracted players to go to Pakistan. Sri Lanka players who’ll come will always be remembered in Pakistan’s history,” Afridi added.
Earlier, Pakistan Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Hussain Chaudhry had commented that India has threatened the Sri Lanka players. He had also said that India could have given the threats that the Sri Lankan players would lose their IPL contracts if they tour to Pakistan.
However, his claims were refused by Sri Lanka Sports Minister Harin Fernando. He said that the ten players who had opted out of the tour was based on the 2009 incident when their team bus was attacked by the terrorist. That incident left eight people dead and several people injured.
The upcoming series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan are scheduled to play three ODIs in Karachi on September 27, 29 and October 3, and three T20Is in Lahore on October 5, 7 and 9. The Test series which will be a part of the World Test Championship played in December.