Kusal Perera backed by Sri Lanka's Sports Minister
The Sri Lankan Sports Minister, Dayasiri Jayasekera, was completely in favour of Sri Lanka’s Wicket Keeper Kusal Perera and allegations over him on failing the drug test. Sri Lankan Sports Minister recently hinted that this was all just a conspiracy against the player, NDTV reports.
Kusal Perera was suspended from the New Zealand tour after he failed a ‘Random’ drug test according to ICC in which he was tested positive for a banned steroid. Jayasekara has informed the parliament that the sports authorities will be sending a blood sample “B” to ICC for testing.
The minister is worried about the player’s future for the T20 World Cup.
"We are doing all we can to defend him," the minister said. "We are wondering if this allegation is a conspiracy to keep him out of next year's T20 World Cup.”
Sri Lankans are the defending champions and are one of the favourites, but it will be a major setback if Perera is not included in the squad.
Perera is the second Sri Lankan to fail a drug test after Upul Tharanga, who failed one during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, after which he was suspended for three months. Tharanga blamed “Herbal Remedy”, which he took for his shoulder, as the reason why he failed the test.
According to Sri Lankan Sports Minister, Sri Lanka’s President, Maithripala Sirisena had a word with Kusal Perera after he was surprisingly suspended from the ongoing series against New Zealand, which consists of two Tests, five ODIs and two T20s.
Even the interim coach, Jayaratne has shown support for his wicket keeper over the abrupt suspension, he said, “Kusal feels he has not taken any form of drugs or any form of medication to that effect - so it's left to be seen how it will be investigated.”
Perera’s absence is a massive blow for Sri Lanka as he was a key component of a team in transition, after losing legends such as Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.