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Shahid Afridi in denial mode, shields Pakistan’s terrorism while blaming India and IPL for cricketers refusing to tour Pakistan

Shahid Afridi is not the only cricketer to blame IPL for Sri Lankan cricketers opting out of the upcoming tour. A few days ago Pakistani federal minister of science and technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain had made the same allegations.

Former Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi has held India and IPL responsible for the International cricketers refusing to tour Pakistan citing security concerns. Afridi asserted that IPL franchisees are exerting pressure on the players to shun playing in Pakistan and its T20 league or else they won’t be granted any contracts in the subsequent editions of the Indian Premier League(IPL). Afridi made this comments after 10 Srilankan cricketers opted out of a tour of Pakistan citing security reasons.

“I had a chat with many Sri Lankan players who wanted to play in Pakistan and in the Pakistan Super League but they confided in to me that they are being pressurised by India and IPL to not play in Pakistan or else they won’t be awarded IPL contracts,” Afridi said.

Instead of raising the issue of terrorism and deteriorating security in Pakistan, that is the reason why it is internationally banished from hosting any ICC cricketing event, Shahid Afridi proceeds to insinuate that India and IPL franchisees are coercing the cricketers to stop playing in Pakistan. In fact, out of all the 10 players of the Sri Lankan team that opted out of Pakistan tour citing security concern, only Lasith Malinga is the one who currently has an IPL contract, none of the others as of now have an IPL contract signed by them.

Shahid Afridi has a knack of lying and thus it is difficult to believe his claim that Sri Lankan players have privately confessed to him of being pressurised by India and IPL franchisees. The former Pakistani cricketer has himself admitted to lying about many things including his age in his recently published autobiography. Besides, Afridi also conveniently hides the fact that Sri Lankan cricketers have pulled out of the tour because of the worsening security situation in Pakistan due to their continued and sustained support to terrorism.

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Shahid Afridi is not the only cricketer to blame IPL for Sri Lankan cricketers opting out of the upcoming tour. A few days ago Pakistani federal minister of science and technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain had made the same allegations. The minister said that the same on Twitter hours after a prankster had sent a message to him on WhatsApp that the decision by Sri Lankan players was taken after the IPL authorities threatened them that they’ll be thrown out of IPL if they go to Pakistan.

Sri Lanka is set to tour Pakistan almost after a decade of the terrorist attack on the touring Sri Lankan team that left many senior Sri Lankan squad members then critically injured. As many as 10 current Sri Lankan cricketers have pulled out from the Pakistan tour citing security concern. They are- Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal And Dimuth Karunaraten.

The Sri Lankan team in March 2009 came under attack as terrorists started indiscriminately firing on the bus carrying the Sri Lankan team when it was on its way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore ahead of the third day of the second Test against Pakistan. Eminent cricketer Kumar Sangakkara was one of the 5 cricketers who received shrapnel wounds in the attack.

However, despite most members of the team opting out, the Sri Lankan cricket board has still decided to go ahead with the tour and fulfil the commitments made to the Pakistan Cricket Board as they prepare to send an inexperienced squad comprising of new players.

Sri Lanka cricket team is scheduled to play three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches in Pakistan between Sept. 27 and Oct. 9. This will be Sri Lanka’s first tour in Pakistan since 2009.

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