Young Sri Lankan batsman Kusal Mendis got a major reprieve on Monday (July 6) when he was released on bail after being arrested for a fatal road accident. Kusal Mendis was driving an SUV that hit and killed a 64-year-old cyclist in Panadura, just south of Colombo around 5 am on Sunday (July 5).
The 25-year-old from Moratuwa was released on two personal bails of 1 million Sri Lankan rupees each after being produced before the Magistrate's Court in the Colombo suburb of Pandura, according to a report on ESPNCricinfo. He is due to appear in court again on September 9.
Kusal Mendis was returning from a wedding with Sri Lanka teammate Avishka Fernando. It is believed that the young batsman was not under the influence of alcohol and, as a result, was the designated driver of the group.
The local resident succumbed to injuries after being admitted to a hospital, according to the report. CCTV footage suggests that Kusal Mendis’ SUV had veered off the road and into a garden wall, hitting the victim in the process.
Kusal Mendis has played 44 Tests, 76 ODIs and 26 T20Is for Sri Lanka. He has amassed 2995 runs in Tests at 36.97, 2167 runs in ODIs at 30.52 and 484 runs in international T20s.
He made his Test debut at the age of just 20 with one first-class ton behind him. Kusal Mendis’ maiden Test ton was a 176 against a strong Australian side at Pallekelle – a match and series-turning knock.
Kusal Mendis has a prominent Indian connection as well. Before breaking into the Sri Lankan side, he performed excellently in the Moin-ud-Dowlah three-day tournament for the visiting Lankan side in Hyderabad.
Kusal Mendis was a part of the national squad that resumed training post-lockdown
Kusal Mendis was part of the national squad which had resumed training after the COVID-19 lockdown. Sri Lanka's international assignments, including a tour by India, have been cancelled due to the pandemic.
The Lankan team’s second residential camp took place in Kandy from June 22 with a 24-member squad including Kusal Mendis. A six-member unit of coaches and other support staff will work with the players during the camp at the Pallekele stadium.
“The arrangements for the next camp is aimed at becoming the best prepared international team post-Covid–19 and to be ready to play at any given time,” Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur had said about the camp.
The squad members continued to follow the health procedures, observed during the first camp, conducted earlier this month in Colombo.