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Sri Lanka’s senior players “agree” to play Tests in Pakistan


Bipin Dani

Sri Lanka’s senior players will travel to Pakistan to play two Test matches in December, it is learnt here. 

Sri Lanka Cricket team

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According to the high places, sources close to a few of these players, who didn’t travel to Pakistan (for three ODIs’ and three T-20 internationals a few weeks ago) expressing security fear have expressed their willingness now to play in Pakistan.

The news was also confirmed by another source, who revealed to this reporter from Australia that Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, and Niroshan Dickwella were consulted by the team manager and the tour selector, Ashantha de Mel.

Kusal Mendis was unfit for the Pakistan tour but Kusal Perera and Dickwella had denied Pakistan tour (for the Limited Over matches).

Other senior players- Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal and few others were consulted in Sri Lanka by the SLC CEO Ashely de Silva (who now has been in Australia with the SLC president Shammi Silva) and their consent have been obtained, it is also learnt here.

“Dimuth Karunaratne is all set to return as Test captain”, the source in Colombo confirmed. 

“The senior players have understood the importance of touring Pakistan now. They have understood that if they don’t travel with solid security guaranteed and other players will grab the opportunity if given a chance. They (the seniors) don’t want to be isolated”, explaining the change of heart by these players, the source added.

“The two Tests are proposed to be played in Rawalpindi and Karachi. Our team will leave on December 8 (Colombo-Dubai-Islamabad), two days before the first Test and return immediately within a fortnight after the second Test”, the source further added.

The team for the Pakistan tour will be announced next month.

In the meantime, Kasun Rajitha, who had a very poor show in the first T-20I against Australia will be replaced by Ishuru Udana or Lahiru for the second match in Brisbane on Wednesday.

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