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  5. Wanindu Hasaranga's Test return not to exploit loopholes of ICC ban | REPORT

Wanindu Hasaranga's Test return not to exploit loopholes of ICC ban | REPORT

Wanindu Hasaranga made a U-turn from Test retirement after seven months for the two-match Test series against Bangladesh. However, he has been banned for those two Tests due to accumulating eight demerit points in a period of 24 months.

Written By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Published on: March 21, 2024 0:04 IST
Wanindu Hasaranga, Sri Lanka
Image Source : GETTY Wanindu Hasaranga.

Wanindu Hasaranga has hogged the limelight over the past few days. Sri Lanka's T20 World Cup captain found himself in hot water during the third ODI against Bangladesh on March 18 when he snatched his cap from an umpire and ridiculed the umpiring during the game. 

Immediately after the game and before he was suspended by ICC, Hasaranga was named in the Test squad for the series against Bangladesh. He came out of the Test retirement after seven months but was hit with three demerit points which took his demerit tally to eight in 24 months. Resultingly, Hasaranga was handed a ban of two Tests, or four ODIs or T20Is, whichever comes first. 

Sri Lanka will play the T20 World Cup 2024 after the Test series and if Hasaranga had not returned to the Tests, he would have to miss the initial part of the World Cup in June. However, as he made a return to the Test squad, the ban meant that he would miss the two-Test series and not the part of World Cup.

However, according to a report in ESPNCricinfo, Sri Lanka Cricket has said Hasaranga's return to Tests was not to exploit the loopholes of the ban. It added that Hasaranga had informed the board on March 16 of his wish to be considered for the longest format of the game. He cited that his fitness has improved now. 

"It was about two weeks ago that he told us he was open to playing Tests again. We know how it looks, but this decision was taken well before the final ODI," Sri Lanka's selection committee member Ajantha Mendis told the cricket-based website.

It added that the International Cricket Council is believed to be in touch with SLC to determine his Test return. Moreover, it states that even Sunriser Hyderabad, his IPL franchise, did not know of Hasaranga's intentions to play the Tests.

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