Sri Lanka’s Bhanuka Rajapaksa has been slapped a one year ban, suspended for two years, from all forms of cricket and fined USD 5000 for breaching the player obligation contract for 2019-20 while appearing in media interviews. However, Rajapaksa has been included in Sri Lanka’s 13 member squad, which is currently undergoing training in Colombo, under a bio-secure environment, with the focus on future series.
Rajapaksa was included in the squad after clearing his fitness test, one of the key criteria for selection in the Sri Lanka team. He is expected to join the bio bubble tomorrow.
It is learned that Sri Lanka Cricket will keep a keen eye on Rajapaksa for two years and should he fail to follow the protocols, he will be handed a year’s ban. Sri Lanka are set to play India in their next series. They were thrashed by England in the T20I and ODI series. The visitors failed to open their accounts on the tour. They lost the T20I series 3-0, before conceding the ODI series 0-2.
Rajapaksa had earlier slammed the Sri Lanka Board for lack of clarity on selection criteria. He alleged he was sacked from Sri Lanka’s T20I team due to fitness related issues, but emphasized that the board had no clear policies for the same.
“When I was dropped, the Head Coach told me that I was running with the gloves in hands and that I didn’t have the commitment for running between the wickets,” Rajapaksa had said in the interview.
Responding to Rajapaksa’s claims, Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur said the management want the fittest cricketers in the team.
“I was upset that he was running with gloves in hand. It highlights the fact that he didn’t push the first run hard. It was just sloppy cricket and I don’t like sloppy cricketers. That shows me his attitude as he jogs the first run. If someone has scored 120 in 40 degrees heat, I can understand that. But I want our players to get out of their comfort zones.”
“Bhanuka has got to make some commitments and he’s got to look after his diet. His excuse has been that he loves chocolates. If you want to be one of the finest cricketers, then you have got to make some sacrifices. We had a diet plan for him and we expected him to look after himself but his skin folds have gone up again,” Arthur had said.
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