Kusal Janith Perera suspended over doping test

Kusal Janith Perera suspended over doping test

December 25, 2015   11:48 am

Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Kusal Janith Perera has been banned from cricket for a still unspecified period after failing a doping test during an earlier home series against Pakistan, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said.

He stated that the government will appeal to reduce the suspension period, which could be maximum 4 years. 

“The second sample (B Sample) of cricketer Kusal Janith has also tested positive for banned substances,” Jayasekara told Ada Derana. 

We will appeal to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to attempt to reduce the period, he said. “We will do our utmost because we cannot leave him (Perera) stranded. We intend to do everything we can for him.” 

The Minister said that they were surprised by the decision especially because the cricketer repeatedly stressed that he knowingly did not take any banned substances and always consulted the physiotherapist.   

The wicketkeeper-batsman was sent home from his team’s cricket tour of New Zealand after failing a doping test during an earlier home series against Pakistan.

Sri Lanka Cricket said he had been randomly selected for a drug test during the Pakistan series and his A sample had tested positive for a banned substance.

Sri Lanka Cricket said Perera’s B sample would be tested and it would make “every endeavour” to allow him to resume playing cricket at the earliest opportunity.

Perera flew to Qatar on Saturday (19) to face the Testing of the ‘B’ sample. 

Mathurage Don Kusal Janith Perera was suspended on December 07 after Sri Lankan cricket authorities were advised the three-test gloveman had tested positive to an unspecified banned substance after he was routinely tested during Pakistan’s tour of Sri Lanka in June-July.

Interim Sri Lanka coach Jerome Jayaratne told media that Perera had “taken some medication for a bite on his foot.”

He said Perera and the coaching staff did not believe the substance had been banned by the International Cricket Council.

“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,” Jayaratne had said.

Although new to test cricket - Perera debuted in August against India following the retirement of Kumar Sangakkara - the aggressive strokemaker’s suspension is a serious setback to a rebuilding Sri Lankan side’s hopes of staying competitive with New Zealand in Dunedin and Hamilton.

Perera, who averages 33.80 and was slated to bat at No 7 - came to prominence as an ODI wicketkeeper/batsman when he equalled the second fastest ODI half-century of all time with a 17-ball 50 against Pakistan in July.

A left-handed batsman and wicketkeeper, Kusal Perera represented the Sri Lankan U19 squad regularly since 2007. 

He was then called up to the side for the U19 World Cup in Malaysia the following year. An aggressive batsman, Perera made his first-class debut for the Colts Cricket Club in 2009 and scored his maiden fifty.

Also a part of the Sri Lankan A side, Perera was included in Ruhunu’s Champions League T20 squad in 2011. Two years later, Kusal was called up to Sri Lanka’s ODI side for their series against Australia, where he made his international debut. 

His reputation as a smasher early on in the innings inevitably drew comparisons with Sanath Jayasuriya’s style of play and that brought Perera some rich dividends none more so than being roped in by the cash rich Indian T20 League for it’s sixth season in 2013. 

He represented the Rajasthan franchise but managed to play only a couple of games. Sri Lanka stuck with him and he rewarded their faith late in the year 2013 with a Man of the Match performance in the second T20I against Pakistan that secured Sri Lanka’s no.1 ranking in the format.

Perera is Sri Lanka’s second player to flunk a dope test. Left-hander batsman Upul Tharanga was suspended for three months after testing positive for a banned substance during the 2011 World Cup. 

-With inputs from Agencies

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