Cricket

'Safety fears' force Wright out of T20 final

2017-03-01 21:10
Luke Wright (Gallo)

London - England one day specialist Luke Wright joined Kevin Pietersen and other foreign team-mates in withdrawing from the Pakistan Super League final on March 5 over safety fears regarding the final being in Lahore.

Wright, who has played 50 One Day Internationals for England and more than 50 Twenty20 internationals, has played just one match for the Quetta Gladiators in the games that have been taking place in Dubai and Sharjah over the past month.

However, organisers allocated Lahore as the venue for the final on Monday which provoked Wright, Pietersen, English bowler Tymal Mills, New Zealand spinner Nathan McCullum and South African batsman Rilee Rossouw into pulling out.

Lahore has been the scene of violence affecting cricketers before. In 2009 Sri Lanka's team bus was attacked by gunmen killing six policemen. Several of the Sri Lanka team and staff were injured.

"It's with a heavy heart I will not be coming to Lahore. I have a young family and for me a game of cricket is just not worth the risk," tweeted Wright, who says the players were assured they had the option when they signed their contracts of pulling out if the final was in Pakistan.

"I'm sorry as I know how much it means to you all and hopefully in the future the safety will not be in doubt to come play there," added the 31-year-old, whose last England appearance dates back to 2014.

Rossouw -- the highest scoring batsman for the Gladiators -- had been keener than the others on playing but he took to Twitter as well to confirm he would not after all be playing.

"It's with a sad heart that I must announce that I will not be taking part in the final," tweeted the 27-year-old, who has played over 30 One Day Internationals for the Proteas.

The British Foreign Office warns of a "high threat of terrorism, kidnap and sectarian violence" in the country and that "foreigners, in particular westerners, may be directly targeted".

Read more on:    pakistan super league  |  cricket
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