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Perera to lead Sri Lanka for Pakistan T20s
Sri Lanka tour of UAE and Pakistan

Perera to lead Sri Lanka for Pakistan T20s

All-rounder Thisara Perera will lead a 16-man Sri Lankan squad for the three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan announced on Saturday, the last of which will be played in Lahore.

The Sri Lankan team will return to Pakistan for the first time since gunmen attacked their bus in Lahore in March 2009, forcing international teams to shun tours of Pakistan over security fears.

The first two matches will be played in Abu Dhabi on October 26 and 27 before the Sri Lankan team tours Pakistan in a fly-in, fly-out arrangement of 24 hours.

The last match will be played in Lahore on October 29.

The 28-year-old Perera, appointed captain for the first time, toured Pakistan as member of a World XI for a three-match Twenty20 international series played in Lahore last month.

The World XI series was part of Pakistan Cricket Board's effort to revive international cricket in the country, which also included the staging of the Pakistan Super League final in March this year.

Nic Pothas, physio and seven other players refuse to travel for Lahore

Sri Lanka Head Coach Nic Pothas has joined seven other players including Upul Tharanga in refusing to travel to Pakistan for the lone T-20 International in Lahore scheduled on October 29.

Former South African wicketkeeper- batsman had reportedly been convinced to travel to Lahore by the Pakistan Head Coach Mickey Arthur after the third ODI in Abu Dhabi. However, he withdrew after discussions with his family back in England.

Sri Lankan limited overs captain Upul Tharanga, fast bolwer Lasith Malinga, current team spearhead Suranga Lakmal, and batsmen Niroshan Dickwella and Chamara Kapugedara reportedly withdrew from the tour of Pakistan over security fears.

Malinga was not selected for the ongoing one-day series in United Arab Emirates (UAE) but had reportedly requested the Sri Lankan ministry to chose a different team for Lahore, which was rejected.

Lakmal and Kapugedara were part of the squad which was attacked during the second Test in Lahore eight years ago, which left eight people killed and seven visiting team members and support staff were injured.

Minod Bhanuka's name has been added to the squad to fill in the gap of a wicket-keeper.

Sri Lanka T20 squad:

Thisara Perera (captain), Dilshan Munaweera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Ashan Priyanjan, Mahela Udawatte, Dasun Shanaka, Sachith Pathirana, Vikum Sanjaya, Lahiru Gamage, Seekkuge Prasanna, Vishwa Fernando, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay and Chathuranga de Silva, Minod Bhanuka.