30 Sri Lankan players invited to let their availability known for Pakistan tour

Bipin Dani

On Monday, 30 national players have been invited by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to find their availability for the forthcoming tour of Pakistan, it is learned here. 

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SLC has agreed to play three ODIs’ and three T-20I in Pakistan from September 27 to October 9.

“All ODI and T-20 players (this includes few who play Tests matches also) have been invited by us”, a source in Colombo confirmed to this Reporter on Sunday morning.

The T-20 captain Lasith Malinga will attend the meeting, however, the ODI skipper Dimuth Karunaratne is unlikely to be present as he has gone to USA to attend some wedding, it is learnt here.

Before leaving Sri Lanka, Dimuth has already expressed his desire to skip the Pakistan tour. It is not known whether he would be asked to appear via video link / WhatsApp chat.

The other player to skip Monday’s meeting will be Thisara Perera, who has been playing the Caribbean Premier League. Incidentally, Thisara led the last Lankan team, which toured Pakistan in October, 2017.

“He is not enthusiast to go to Pakistan this time but has been given NOC to play the CPL-T20 with a condition that he would return, if his services are sought by the SLC as per contract”, the source, privy to the development said.

“Isuru Udana too was selected for the CPLT-20, but has remained in Sri Lanka and is willing to travel to Pakistan”, the source added.

“All team support staff members, whose extended contracts have come to an end with the recent series against New Zealand are not invited but Rumesh Ratnayake may remain present”.

Availability of chief selector Ashantha de Mel, who has been managing the team so far will be known on Monday.

The players will be briefed by the SLC president Shami Silva and the security expert Roshan Goonathilake, who was one of the members of the recce team and “cleared” the tour.

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