Alongside many other senior players unwilling to travel to Pakistan for the last T-20 of the series, Upul Tharanga ruled himself out of the series by stating ‘security concerns’. Therefore he, along with the others, will miss the whole series as the Sri Lanka Cricket board (SLC) has decided that only one squad will be chosen for the whole series.
SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala confirmed that only one team will all three games. Hearing this, The Lankan players appealeed to the Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara for separate teams for the Abu Dhabi games and the solitary one in Lahore. Unfortunately for them, the appeal was turned down. Sri Lanka’s Sports Law applies that the Sports Minster approves all teams selected for the international matches.
Tharanga said, “It was an individual decision. We chatted to 40 to 45 players and we didn’t force anyone to go or not to go. Once the board informed us that we are playing in Lahore, we made a request to change the venue. SLC told us that they are going ahead with the game. We had a chat and we decided to give the freedom to the players to decide.
Tharanga added, “Personally why I opted not to go was, in 2009, I was in the team although I wasn’t present in Lahore when the shooting happened. Just before that I was part of the ODI side that went and played in Pakistan. The shooting happened a few weeks later. Back of my mind, the incident troubles me and I am not mentally ready to go to Pakistan at the moment. However, if there’s an opportunity in the future, I will certainly consider”.
In March 2009, the Sri Lankan team bus came under a terrorist attack, while touring Pakistan for a series, injuring several players and support staff. The SLC named Thisara Perera as the captain with Tharanga out of the picture.