India not behind players’ boycott of Pakistan, says Sri Lankan minister

Colombo: Sri Lanka minister Harin Fernando has rejected claims made by Pakistan Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry that India forced the players of the island nation to opt out of their upcoming tour against the Men in Green.

Fernando, who is Sri Lanka’s sports minister, said that 10 players have opted out of the tour “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 night.