Ban on Royal, St. Sebastian’s cricketers a farce

by Reemus Fernando

In what school cricket enthusiasts term as a clear case of favoritism, Sri Lanka Under-19 players Ramith Rambukwella and Sanitha de Mel, who were involved in an incident of a breach of discipline during their home series against England Under-19, have been handed match bans which will have no effect on them at all.

The disciplinary committee of Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association, which is affiliated to both the education ministry and Sri Lanka Cricket, has banned the captains of Royal College, Colombo (Ramith) and St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa (Sanitha) from playing international matches.

Incidentally, SLSCA dose not conduct international matches and there are no Youth ODIs for Sri Lanka Under-19s in the near future. On the contrary, on previous occasions, when Sri Lanka Under-19 players were involved in similar incidents of breach of disciplinary conduct, the protocol of the SLSCA was to suspend players from engaging in school matches, which had a bearing on both the player and the school.

"We cannot understand the philosophy behind this ban. It was not long ago that the SLSCA imposed school match bans on Sri Lanka Under-19 players who were involved in an incident of breach of discipline," an official of a leading cricket playing school said.

During the past few years, when Sri Lanka Under-19 players were found involved in incidents of womanizing, boozing or shoplifting, the SLSCA suspended the players from taking part in school matches even without conducting disciplinary inquiries.

When ‘The Island’ contacted Rohana Karunarathne, the president of the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association, who also sits in the disciplinary committee, he said that the players were banned from taking part in International matches. He said since the incident happened during an international series the committee decided to impose a ban on international matches.

When asked why had they deviated from the protocol he said it was a decision taken collectively by the committee.


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