It was a mockery on the part of SLPP parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa’s attempt to get credit for the recent T20 cricket Asia cup victory after sabotaging the Sri Lanka cricket team at the last T20 World Cup tournament held in Dubai in 2021 when he was the Sports Minister, claimed the Chief Opposition Whip and Senior Vice President of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), Lakshman Kiriella yesterday.
Mr. Kiriella told Daily Mirror that the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had suspended Kusal Mendis, Dhanushka Gunatilaka and Niroshan Dickwella for one year on disciplinary grounds effective from July 2021.
All three batters are specialists in the shorter format of cricket and Kusal in particular is a hard hitter and comes to the crease one down or as an opener. He has contributed heavily to strengthen the opening partnership in white ball tournaments that has finally led to make Sri Lanka victorious. I made a request in Parliament after the team selection for the T20 World cup held in Dubai in November 2021 from Sports Minister Rajapaksa to lift the ban of the three on behalf of millions of cricket lovers of Sri Lanka in particular and the sport of cricket at large. But he flatly rejected citing discipline as an excuse. The result was that Sri Lanka was eliminated in the first round after heavy defeats to Australia, England and South Africa. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)
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