Thirimanne, Shanaka to lead Sri Lanka on Pakistan tour - GulfToday

Thirimanne, Shanaka to lead Sri Lanka on Pakistan tour

Thirimanne, Shanaka to lead Sri Lanka on Pakistan tour

Lahiru Thirimanne will lead Sri Lanka’s 15-member ODI squad during their tour to Pakistan. File / Agence France-Presse

Colombo: Lahiru Thirimanne and Dasun Shanaka were named Sri Lanka’s one-day international and Twenty20 international captains respectively for the upcoming tour of Pakistan after 10 players opted out of the series over security reasons.

Thirimanne will lead a 15-member ODI squad, while the 16-member T20 squad will be led by Shanaka.

The announcement on Wednesday comes two days after Dimuth Karunaratne and Lasith Malinga, the incumbents, informed Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) of their unwillingness to travel to Pakistan.

A majority of international teams have refused to tour Pakistan following a March 2009 militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during a Test match in Lahore.

The other players who chose not to play were Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Suranga Lakmal and Dinesh Chandimal. Kusal Mendis was unavailable for selection due to an injury.

The SLC has named squads comprising of players with relatively lesser experience, with uncapped batsman Minod Banuka set to make his debut in both ODI and T20I formats. Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who featured in Sri Lanka A’s tour of India in June, was named in the T20I squad.

Sri Lanka and Pakistan are scheduled to play three ODIs and three T20I matches between Sept. 27 and Oct. 9.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s cricket board said on Wednesday it had received warnings its national team could be the target of a terror attack during an upcoming tour of Pakistan.

The board said the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s Office had advised it to “reassess the situation” after it received “reliable information of a possible terrorist threat” against the national squad.

It stopped short of calling off the tour, but said a reassessment of the security situation would be sought from Sri Lankan government authorities.

Sri Lanka Minister Harin Fernando has rejected claims made by Pakistan Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry that India forced the players of the island nation to opt out of their upcoming tour against the Men in Green.

Fernando, who is Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister, said 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.

Agencies