Thirimanne, Shanaka to lead Lanka in Pak tour

Colombo: Days after top Lankan cricketers opted out of upcoming tour of Pakistan over security fears, Sri Lanka cricket board on Wednesday announced the second string squads for ODI and T20I series.
Lahiru Thirimanne will lead the ODI side while Dasun Shanaka has been named skipper for the T20I side, Sri Lanka cricket board said in a statement. Sri Lanka will be touring Pakistan to play three ODIs and three T20i matches, starting from September 27 to October 9.
Earlier, the likes of Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal and Dimuth Karunaratne had opted out of tour while Kusal Mendis was not available for selection due to an injury.
The players were given the freedom to decide on their availability after a security briefing with the national cricket board that was aimed at bringing the players up to date about the measures being put in place for the tour in Pakistan. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Minister Harin Fernando has rejected claims made by Pakistan Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry that India forced Sri Lankan players to opt out of their upcoming tour against Pakistan.
Fernando, who is Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister stated that 10 players have opted out of the tour “purely” based on the 2009 incident when their team bus was attacked by terrorist which left eight people dead and several others injured.
“No truth to reports that India influenced Sri Lankan players not to play in Pakistan.
Some decided not to play purely based on 2009 incident. Respecting their decision we picked players who were willing to travel. ” Fernando tweeted on Tuesday night. (UNI)

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