Sri Lanka Cricket has refused to issue no-objection certificates (NOC) to Niroshan Dickwella, practically barring him from playing the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Similarly, they will also disallow all-rounder Thisara Perera from playing a large chunk of CPL games. This comes a day after ten players including Perera and Dickwella had refused to tour Pakistan at the end of this moment.
SLC CEO Ashley de Silva stated that they are simply following the board policy.
“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 a 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.”
Former captain, Thisara Perera is already in the West Indies and have represented St Lucia Zouks in two matches. However, the NOC issued to earlier was subject to the all-rounder’s availability to tour Pakistan. Perera had been part of the World 11 and captained the Sri Lankan team that visited Pakistan in 2018 to play a T20I. Since that many top international players have visited Pakistan to play PSL and a West Indies team had also toured Pakistan.
Dickwella, on the other hand, has not been issued a NOC, as he was part of the Sri Lanka’s T20 team, which lost to New Zealand 2-1. Isuru Udana, the left-arm seamer was also picked for CPL but he has made himself available for the tour.
Board members are somewhat frustrated by the refusal of ten players despite having approvals from the Sri Lankan security experts.
“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?”
The players, however, remained unconvinced and feel that some other team should be helping Pakistan bring international cricket back to the country.
“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.”
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has stressed that the tour will go-ahead. They look at it as another step towards bringing cricket back in the country.
Three ODIs and T20Is are scheduled to be played in Karachi and Lahore respectively.