After ten Sri Lankan cricket players decided to opt-out of an upcoming tour to Pakistan due to security concerns, a minister in Pakistani government blamed India for the players of the island nation boycotting upcoming series against Pakistan, reports The New Indian Express.
According to the report, Pakistani Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Hussain Chaudhry said that India threatened Sri Lankan players to not participate in the series, starting 27 September, against Pakistan.
He went on to claim that India could have used threats that the Sri Lankan players would be ousted of Indian Premier League (IPL) if they travelled to Pakistan for the series.
"Informed sports commentators told me that India threatened SL (Sri Lankan) players that they will be ousted from IPL if they don't refuse Pak visit, this is really cheap tactic, jingoism from sports to space is something we must condemn, really cheap on the part of Indian sports authorities," Chaudhry tweeted.
Informed sports commentators told me that India threatened SL players that they ll be ousted from IPL if they don’t refuse Pak visit, this is really cheap tactic, jingoism from sports to space is something we must condemn, really cheap on the part of Indian sports authorities— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) September 10, 2019
Earlier on Monday (9 September), following a security briefing with Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) board, top players of the Island nation including country’s twenty-20 International (T20I) team captain Lasith Malinga and former captain Angelo Mathews along with Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella opted out of the Pakistan tour starting from 27 September.
During the tour, the Sri Lankan team is scheduled to play three one-day international (ODI) matches in Karachi on 27, 29 September and 3 October. Further, the team is also slated to play three T20I matches in Lahore on 5, 7 and 9 October.
Pakistan had been an isolated destination for international cricket since the 2009 terrorist attack in which gunmen targetted a Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, leaving several cricketers injured.