Fake prophet, casino hurt Sri Lanka’s WC campaign: Panel

Influence of fake prophet, and casino brawls – two shocking revelations made by five-member independent panel, which investigated team’s off-the field behaviour during the ICC tournament.

An inquiry into Sri Lanka’s horrific show at T20 World Cup 2022, led the investigators to startling revelations, which has shocked the cricket fraternity. The panel’s 63-page report offered damning findings on Asian Champions, who failed to qualify in Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup.

Notably, batter Danushka Gunathilaka was arrested hours after Sri Lanka’s tournament prematurely ended as he has been charged with four counts of sexual assault on a woman in Sydney.

The panel’s report found that ‘a man claiming to be a prophet had established considerable influence over some team members and key officials.’

Due to an influence of ‘fake prophet’ bowler Chamika Karunaratna left an oil lamp burning in his room, despite hotel warnings of a fire hazard.

Sri Lanka’s Chamika Karunaratne celebrates after taking the wicket of Pakistan’s Haris Rauf . (REUTERS)

Reportedly, the panel report has confirmed that Karunaratna was ‘involved in a brawl at a casino along with six teammates when the star objected to having his picture taken.’

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s team manager Mahinda Halangoda reportedly told investigators that the players were in the casino for dinner due to ‘all restaurants in Australia close after 8 PM or 8:30 PM.’ Ms. Hasan further stated that the gambling venue offered the only food available, but the panel didn’t buy that claim.

Image Source: Getty

In its report, the panel has recommended that players should be banned from visiting casinos on overseas tours and also that wives should be allowed in their hotel room ‘to ensure they do not stray out and violate team discipline.’

Justice Kusala Sarojini (r.) Supreme Court has requested country’s sports minister Roshan Ranasinghe to seize documents to stop any evidence being destroyed amid the investigation. Meanwhile, Mr. Ranasinghe has told AFP that he will ‘study the report and act on it to ensure team discipline and stamp out corruption.’

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