Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2019, Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Niroshan Dickwella, SLC, Caribbean Premier League, CPL 2019
Dickwella has not been granted an NOC since with he was with Sri Lanka’s T20 team for the series against New Zealand last week. @ AFP

Niroshan Dickwella and Thisara Perera, two players among the 10 Sri Lankan players who refused to tour Pakistan for the upcoming series, have been denied No Objection Certificates (NOC) by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for playing in the majority of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL 2019).


According to SLC CEO Ashley de Silva, the board s policy clearly states that if a player is picked for a national tour, that player will not be granted an NOC to play in a foreign league if he or she withdraws from national commitments voluntarily. “It’s our policy not to give NOCs when there is a national tour, and the players would have known that,” de Silva said.

“So Dickwella has not been granted an NOC and will be expected to train with the national team in the next few weeks. We have also asked Thisara to return to the country on September 15, so he can also join the team in training.”

READ: Pakistan minister alleges India threatened Sri Lanka players to pull out of tour

According to a report in ESPNCricinfo on Tuesday, Thisara, who has already played two matches in the ongoing CPL, having been granted conditional availability by SLC, will have to return to Sri Lanka. Dickwella has not been granted an NOC since with he was with Sri Lanka’s T20 team for the series against New Zealand last week.

Isuru Udana, had also been picked for a CPL team, but later made himself unavailable due to international commitments, is prepared to tour Pakistan, so he has not asked for any NOC from the board.

Of those who have decided to skip the tour which features three T20Is and three ODIs, prominent names are Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne. Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dhananjaya and Suranga Lakmal have also decided to give the series a miss.

“We have done a very meticulous security assessment, and the Pakistan board has gone out of their way,” one board official said.

“Other international players have also toured there with the World XI and so on. And Pakistan is also willing to provide the same security they give to heads of state for the players. What more could they want?”

Following a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009, a majority of international teams have refused to tour the South Asian country. The Sri Lankan cricket board said national players were briefed on security arrangements for the six-match limited over series, and given the freedom to decide if they wanted to travel.

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However, Sri Lanka players made it clear that they would prefer another team to lead the way as Pakistan look to revive international cricket at home. “I can completely understand that for players who were actually there during the attack – like Lakmal – why they would be reluctant,” the SLC official said.

“But we have to help our Asian neighbours. Soon after the Easter Attacks this year, Pakistan sent an Under-19 team to Sri Lanka. We’re not trying to risk anyone’s life, but we do have obligations and there needs to be reciprocation. The security situation in Pakistan has improved a lot.”