Dickwella and Perera Won’t Get NOC for CPL for Refusing Pakistan Tour
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).
SLC unimpressed with Perera and Dickwella
According to SLC CEO Ashley de Silva, it is the board’s policy that if there is a national tour for which a player might reasonably be picked, that player will not be granted a NOC to play in a foreign league if he or she withdraws from national commitments voluntarily. The board is also not impressed about the fact that players have withdrawn despite the security assessments which deemed the tour a safe one.
“It’s our policy not to give NOCs when there is a national tour, and the players would have known that,” de Silva said told ESPN Cricinfo. “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.”
Caribbean Premier League
Thisara Perera, 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 a NOC since 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. However, he later made himself unavailable due to international commitments and is prepared to tour Pakistan. Therefore, he has not asked for any NOC from the Sri Lanka 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, much to the disappointment of cricket fans in Pakistan.
Sri Lanka Chief Selector Expresses His Disappointment
The Chief Selector Ashantha de Mel has made it clear to the players that refusing the Pakistan tour will not directly affect their selection in other series’.
“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?”
Sri Lanka’s players have suggested they would prefer another team to take the lead in helping international cricket return to Pakistan, especially since the 2009 Lahore attack saw the team suffer.
“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 neighbors. 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.”
On refusing NOCs, the official said: “It’s not a question of trying to be vindictive or victimize players. But they do have an obligation.”