Arjuna Ranatunga, a former Sri Lanka captain, has slammed the trio of Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, and Niroshan Dickwella for breaking bio-bubble protocols in England. If Ranatunga had been captain of the national team now, he said he would have slapped the players two or three times.
Both on and off the field, Sri Lankan cricket is currently in disarray. The players and Sri Lanka Cricket are now at odds over a new contract. In terms of results, the side was recently thrashed by England in T20Is and is 2-0 down in the three-match ODI series against the same nation.
To make matters worse, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, and Niroshan Dickwella were recently sent home from their tour of England in the middle of it. After photographs and videos of the players’ antics went viral on social media, the trio was found guilty of violating bio-bubble protocols.
Arjuna Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to World Cup victory in 1996, claims that today’s players are just interested in gaining notoriety rather than playing cricket.
He was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.lk:
“I would not allow the players to play with social media. They use Facebook, Instagram and do everything other than playing cricket. The Cricket administration was doing nothing about that. They only want publicity. If I was the captain of the team, these three players would have been clever players. I may have to slap them two or three times.”
Familiar faces in Durham tonight, enjoying their tour! Obviously not here to play cricket, this video was taken at 23.28 Sunday. Disappointing performance by these cricket players but not forgetting to enjoy their night at Durham. RIP #SrilankaCricket #KusalMendis #ENGvSL pic.twitter.com/eR15CWHMQx
— Nazeer Nisthar (@NazeerNisthar) June 28, 2021
Aside from the players’ inappropriate behavior, Ranatunga criticized the present authorities for Sri Lanka cricket’s recent decline.
Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara on the exiled trio: “I hope that support and counselling will be made accessible.”
Despite Arjuna Ranatunga has threatened to smack the three athletes for violating bio-bubble protocols in England, Kumar Sangakkara thinks the trio would be given the opportunity to improve while facing sanctions.
On Sky Sports, the former wicketkeeper-batsman said:
“The three players are very senior players, one the vice-captain (Kusal Mendis). There will be an inquiry and there will be a sanction. I hope that support and counseling will be made available to keep developing them, not just skill-wise as cricketers but more as people, to get them really focused on living a positive lifestyle on and off the field.”
According to reports, the three Sri Lankan players might face a 12-month ban from international cricket. The Lankans will play India in a limited-overs series starting on July 13 after their final ODI against England on July 4th.
— Cricket Digest (@CricketDigestAu) June 29, 2021