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Pakistani minister claims India ‘threatened’ Sri Lankan cricket players after tour pull out

At least 10 Sri Lankan cricket players announced they are to pull out of an upcoming tour of Pakistan, leading to a Pakistani minister claiming India had “threatened” the Sri Lankans.

The 10 players, including the current Sri Lankan captain, pulled out of the tour of Pakistan due for later this month, citing security concerns. In response, Pakistan’s Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry tweeted, “Informed sports commentators told me that India threatened SL players that they ll be ousted from IPL if they don’t refuse Pak visit.”

“This is really cheap tactic, jingoism from sports to space is something we must condemn, really cheap on the part of Indian sports authorities,” he added.

However, the claim was denied by Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Harin Fernando, who said the decision of some players was due to the “2009 incident” where gunmen attacked Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore.

An official Sri Lankan cricket team statement said “Former Sri Lanka Air Force Commander, Marshal Air Roshan Goonetileke, who is the Chief Security Advisor of the SLC, briefed the players about the security situation in Pakistan and the security arrangements” before the players made their decision.