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Akhtar expressed his disappointment at the pull-out and reminder Sri Lanka how Pakistan has “always been a huge support for SL cricket”. @ AFP

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar is highly disappointed with Sri Lanka players – Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal – among 10 members who opted out of the Pakistan tour due to security fears.

Akhtar expressed his disappointment at the pull-out and reminder Sri Lanka how Pakistan has “always been a huge support for SL cricket”.

“So disappointed with the 10 Sri Lankan players who have pulled out of Pakistan tour. Pakistan has always been a huge support for SL cricket,” Akhtar tweeted on Wednesday.

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“Recently after deadly Easter Attacks in SL, our under-19 team was sent on tour there, being the first international team to volunteer. And of course, who can forget the 1996 World Cup when Australia & West Indies refused to tour Sri Lanka. Pakistan sent a combined team with India to play a friendly match in Colombo. We expect reciprocation from Sri Lanka. Their board is cooperating, players should also,” he further wrote in a series of tweets.

READ: Sri Lanka’s tour of Pakistan in jeopardy after warning of possible terrorist threat

Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya, Suranga Lakmal and Dimuth Karunaratne are the other players to have opted out of tour while Kusal Mendis was not available for selection due to an injury.

Due to the pull out, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) were left with no option than to send second-string ODI and T20I squads. Lahiru Thirimanne was named captain of the ODI side, while Dasun Shanaka will lead Sri Lanka’s T20I team for Pakistan tour.

ALSO READ: Thirimanne named Sri Lanka ODI captain for Pakistan tour, Shanaka to lead T20I side

Pakistan have not hosted a high-profile team for a full-length tour ever since the terrorist attack in 2009. The Sri Lankan team had visited Lahore for a day to play a lone T20I match in October 2017.

Former Pakistan batsman Ramiz Raja on Tuesday had also criticised the 10 Sri Lankan players’ move. “Don’t know what to read into 10 Sri Lankan players pulling out of Pak tour. Disappointing! And couple of them then opting instead to play franchise cricket. Wow!” Raja tweeted.