Sri Lanka Cricket expects ICC to cover Perera’s case expenses
After the ICC withdrew its charges against wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera, Sri Lanka Cricket board’s president Thilanga Sumathipala is hopeful that the ICC will the funds expended in clearing Perera will be covered by the governing body.
Meanwhile, the Qatar-based lab that conducted the drug test, which led to Perera’s withdrawal from Sri Lanka’s tour New Zealand in December last year, is set to come under scrutiny.
“We have to definitely get our costs back,” Sumathipala said. “By that, I mean the direct costs. The indirect costs are colossal. So we will discuss that separately.”
The board had spent close to 13 million rupees (USD 92,000) on the lawsuit. SLC had expended money on various tests, including polygraph and urine tests.
Sumathipala said the board would discuss the matter with Perera and the nation’s sports ministry before any further action is decided upon.
“We got the hard part right and now we have a definite claim, now that we have proved our player is innocent,” Sumathipala said. “I’m sure Sri Lanka Cricket will go forward and discuss with ICC. We can’t sour the relationship also. If the sports minister has a directive that is separate, we want to discuss that as well. Definitely, the player has a claim.”
Comparing the current issue with that of Muralitharan, when the bowler was suspected for a dubious action, Sumathipala said that they took the scientific route.
“We decided to go the scientific route,” Sumathipala said. “We have seen SLC do the same thing in the past with the straightening of the arms issue. We did it after Murali was no-balled on Boxing Day 1995. Then we did it again when the doosra was banned. Once we concluded that route, we were that much stronger with the ICC.
“Prompted by our scientific evidence, we have taken the ICC to a different level about how they should process this kind of situation in the future. We’re happy about that. We’ve taken an approach that we’re not sure anyone has taken in the past. We were very happy.”
Sumathipala said the board believed in Kusal from the outset and so they decided to back the opener as much as possible.
“We spoke about this at the board and we decided that we trusted him and that he was telling the truth. We decided to represent him as best we can. We thought that we would be able to get him cleared, so we set aside 15 million rupees to spend on him, which is unprecedented for this board.”
Perera is eligible for selection for Sri Lanka with immediate effect, but the selectors have not yet decided whether to add him to the Test squad currently in England.
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