India did not influence players to boycott Pakistan tour: Sri Lanka Sports Minister

India did not influence players to boycott Pakistan tour: Sri Lanka Sports Minister

Sri Lanka Minister Harin Fernando has refuted claims made by Pakistan Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry that India had influenced Lankan players to opt out of their upcoming tour to Pakistan.

Clearing the air, Fernando revealed that the 10 players who decided to opt out of the tour took the decision "purely" based on the 2009 incident when their team bus was attacked by terrorists, 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. We have a full strength team & we hope to beat Pakistan in Pakistan," he tweeted on Tuesday.

Earlier, Sri Lankan Cricket Board (SLC) on Monday had issued a statement saying that 10 players, including captain Dimuth Karunaratne and veterans Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews, had refused to travel to Pakistan.

Following this, Pakistan minister Fawad Hussain alleged that India had influenced their decision. He said that informed sports commentators had informed him the Sri Lankan players were confronted by Indian authorities and were told they would be excluded from the IPL if they went to play in Pakistan.

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