Monday, June 1, 2020

fall from grace - Srilankan hat-trick star Shehan Madushanka arrested for possession of drugs


“Alcohol and drug related crimes are on the rise in Chennai. In over 25 percent of criminal cases in Chennai, the offender was inebriated during or before the crime,” says   a criminal lawyer, practising in Madras High Court.

His descent from England’s premier all-rounder to prison is recounted in his autobiography, Crazy: My Road to Redemption, a painfully honest account of how he went from a Lords dressing room to a cramped prison cell. – know who ?
celebrating Kuldeep hattrick

Representing the Nation is a great honour – performing powerfully ensuring a place in the next match is great.  This is about a bowler who achieved the distinction of a hat-trick in his debut match (sadly has not played ODI thereafter and now in news for wrong reasons) – 3 in 3 – 3 wickets in 3 consecutive deliveries is a rare feat indeed.  In One dayers there have been  49 occurrences in 4222 matches since the first ever ODI match between Australia and England in  1971.  Hat-tricks are dominated by spinners.  The first ODI hat-trick was taken by Pakistan's Jalal-ud-Din against Australia in Hyderabad, Sindh, in 1982. The most recent player to achieve this feat is Kuldeep Yadav of India against West Indies in December 2019. The only bowler to have taken four ODI hat-tricks is Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga. Five other bowlers— Pakistan's Wasim Akram and Saqlain Mushtaq, Sri Lanka's Chaminda Vaas, New Zealand's Trent Boult and India's Kuldeep Yadav—have taken two hat-tricks in the format. Four players have taken a hat-trick on their ODI debuts: Bangladesh's Taijul Islam against Zimbabwe in 2014, South Africa's Kagiso Rabada against Bangladesh in 2015, Sri Lanka's Wanidu Hasaranga against Zimbabwe in 2017, and Sri Lanka's Shehan Madushanka against Bangladesh in 2018.  You may remember the hattrick taken by  Chetan Sharma against New Zealand in 1987 Reliance World Cup.

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants. It is typically sold as a white or brownish powder that is "cut" with sugars, starch, powdered milk, or quinine. Pure heroin is a white powder with a bitter taste that predominantly originates in South America and, to a lesser extent, from Southeast Asia, and dominates U.S. markets east of the Mississippi River. Sri Lanka fast bowler Shehan Madushanka has been suspended from all forms of cricket with immediate effect after he was arrested for alleged possession of illegal drugs, the country's cricket board said.

There have been occasions whence Cricketers have been penalized after failing dope test.  Cricketers like other normal humans, develop sore throat the take medicines including cough syrups, sometikes painkillers too. Indian  cricketers were caught taking terbutaline in doping tests, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) slapped retrospective bans on them.  When authorities nabbed Yusuf Pathan with terbutaline in his urine sample in 2018, he confessed he had taken terbutaline for a sore throat. The BCCI promptly handed him a back-dated ban. Sometime back, news reports emerged that Prithvi Shaw had been caught committing the same offence. He was also  handed a back-dated ban.

In 2008, Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Asif failed a doping test because he had a banned substance during the tournament that year. Asif was also involved in a drug-related controversy during the Champions Trophy 2006 for taking nandrolone -- an androgen and anabolic steroid for which he was banned for a year but that decision was later reversed.  Australia's spin great Shane Warne was suspended for 12 months in 2003 prior to the start of the World Cup, after he tested positive for a banned diuretic. Warne initially claimed that he took only one of what he called a "fluid tablet" -- the prescription drug Moduretic -- on his mother's suggestion, in an attempt to improve his appearance. Former England player Ian Botham, was banned from the game in 1989, after being found guilty of smoking cannabis. He was banned for 63 days for bringing the game into disrepute.

In Jan 2018  Sri Lanka 221 (Tharanga 56, Chandimal 45, Rubel 4-46) beat Bangladesh 142 (Mahmudullah 76, Madushanka 3-26) by 79 runs.  Dushmantha Chameera blasted out the top order, Akila Dananjaya squeezed through the middle overs, and debutant Shehan Madushanka - playing only his seventh senior cricket match - closed out the tournament with a hat-trick. Defending 222, the bowlers constricted the Bangladesh chase, dismissed the opposition for 142, and propelled Sri Lanka to their third victory on the trot and the tri-series title.   There was some controversy of a   potential blind spot in international cricket's regulations. Chandika Hathurusingha was Bangladesh's coach only three months earlier, and at that time became Sri Lankan coach.  His knowledge of Bangladesh conditions, and of the opposition, were alleged to have been  instrumental to the victory.

Now comes the news that Sri Lanka fast bowler Shehan Madushanka has been suspended from all forms of cricket with immediate effect after he was arrested for alleged possession of illegal drugs, the country's cricket board said. The 25-year-old took a hat-trick in his first one-day international against Bangladesh in Dhaka in January, 2018 and played two more Twenty20 internationals on that tour before being sidelined with injuries. He was caught with 2.7 grams of heroin by police on Saturday and then remanded in custody until June 2, Sri Lanka police said.   Madushanka’s arrest was the first time a contracted player was remanded over a drug charge. The cricketer and his friend were arrested on May 23 for possessing heroin. The magistrate at Kuliyapitiya in the north-western province ordered him to be remanded till June 2.

A decade and more ago, England cricketer Chris Lewis was  jailed for 13 years for smuggling liquid cocaine valued at more than £140,000 into Britain hidden in fruit juice tins in his cricket bag. His accomplice, Chad Kirnon, a 27-year-old former basketball player born in Montserrat, was given the same sentence. Both men had denied the charges.  Chris Lewis, a Guyana-born cricketer once tipped as the next Ian Botham, was stopped at Gatwick airport on return from St Lucia.  He was carrying a man's handbag and a cricket bag full of cans of fruit and vegetable juice. The five cans held a brownish liquid that smelt of chemicals and turned out to be dissolved cocaine. Evaporating off the liquid would have yielded 3.75kg of pure cocaine.Lewis made his final Test appearance at the Oval in August 1996 and his last one-day appearance two years later against South Africa. Just over a decade later, he then attempted to smuggle £140,000 worth of cocaine through Gatwick airport. He was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment in May 2009. It was quite some fall from grace.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27.5.2020.


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