Just when things were looking all positive and set for Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera, a massive hurdle occurred. Perera’s test career got off to a dream start against India at Colombo, as he scored two half-centuries in his first test to make an immediate impact. With the tour of New Zealand on the cards, Perera was banned from international cricket on charges of doping by the ICC.
The attacking batsman had to thus miss out from the World T20 in India. But Perera was determined to justify himself, and with the help of his legal team, he successfully cleared himself off all the doping charges. After missing out on international cricket for 6 months, Perera is eager to make his international comeback count big time.
“I haven’t been told if I’m playing yet, but I was thrown into trouble and to come back from that at Lord’s would be a great opportunity,” Perera said in London. “I was banned just before a Test, so to return in this format would be fitting. Even the time I was out of the team I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong. But these things can happen in life.”
“I couldn’t really think about cricket much in those months because my focus was on the problem I was facing. I didn’t have any time to think about whether I was in touch, or whether I could train, or even what was happening in cricket. I started training the day after I was cleared. Before then I didn’t do much batting – just some fitness work,” the southpaw added.
Perera seemed confident for the Lord’s test and mentioned that the conditions would be more favorable than Durham. “I watched the attack and it’s mostly fast bowlers,” he said. “In London, the conditions seem easier because it must have been very cold in Durham. When it’s cold you are a bit stiff and your feet don’t work as well. With this weather and given the pitch as well – which looks like it will be batting-friendly – I think there’s a chance for us to dominate them.”
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