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Is India threatening Sri Lankan players from playing in Pakistan?

While Sri Lankan sports authorities dismisses Fawad Chaudhry’s claims of India’s influence on Sri Lankan players, is it suitable for a Pakistan minister to churn up controversies for the country at a crucial time? Or is it wise to overestimate the power of arch-rivals India with mere speculations?

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Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry accused India of threatening Sri Lankan players to end their IPL contracts if they opted to go on the tour to Pakistan. The speculations started circulating after several Sri Lankan players refused to accompany the team to Pakistan for cricket series scheduled in September.

Chaudhry in his Twitter post added that “Informed sports commentators told me that India threatened SL players that they’ll be ousted from IPL if they don’t refuse Pakistan visit.”

Minister Chaudhry berated India for polluting sports with its dirty tactics. Fawad Chaudhry described it as a ‘cheap tactic’, asserting that ‘jingoism from sports to space is something we must condemn, really cheap on the part of Indian sports authorities.’

His tweet came after Sri Lanka’s A-list players including Lasith Malinga, Thisera Perara, Angelo Mathews pulled out from the upcoming tour of Pakistan citing security concerns.

The Sri Lankan cricket board said it briefed the preliminary squad on the security arrangements for the six-match limited over series beginning from September 27th and gave freedom to decide if they wanted to travel.

A terror attack on Sri Lanka’s cricket team in 2009 in Lahore left eight people dead while many players suffered injuries since then the doors of international cricket in Pakistan were shut.

Harin Fernando, Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister refuted the speculation of India’s influence on Sri Lankan players. Fernando in his tweet asserted that players have taken not to travel Pakistan in the backdrop of the terror attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore in 2009. Sports Minister Fernando added that they have picked up the players who are willing to travel Pakistan. He also expressed his confidence that the Sri Lankan cricket team can beat Pakistan.

A terror attack on Sri Lanka’s cricket team in 2009 in Lahore left eight people dead while many players suffered injuries since then the doors of international cricket in Pakistan were shut. Pakistan is facing a tough time to convince the international cricketing boards about the improved law and order situation in the country.

Read more: Lahore attack anniversary: Cricket returns to Pakistan

Despite the successful organization of Pakistan Super League in Pakistan, the country is unable to regain the trust of the international community and persuade international players to visit Pakistan.

Since the doors of International cricket closed on Pakistan, a world XI team toured in 2017 followed by a Zimbabwe team in 2018. Finals of all editions of the PSL other than the first were also played in Pakistan including star players like Darren Sammy and Shane Watson.

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