Sa’adi Thawfeeq, in Daily News, 13 May 2016, where the title reads ” Emotion-filled Kusal says: First priority is to get into the team”
A relieved and emotion filled Kusal Janith Perera said that his first goal was to get back to the national team and the financial losses he suffered during the ICC ban was only secondary. Addressing a packed press conference at Sri Lanka Cricket headquarters yesterday Perera who was freed of the disciplinary charges brought against him and the provisional suspension imposed on him by the International Cricket Council (ICC) said, “My primary goal is to get back into the team as quick as possible. To do that I must start practicing the more I practice the greater chance I have of regaining my form. I must also look into my fitness as well. During the period of my ban I wasn’t allowed to train with any SLC trainers.
“I am not thinking too much about my financial losses not being able to play for my country for the past six months my priority right now is to get back into the team. I don’t think the ban has damaged my reputation so much. Everyone trusted me that’s why I was able to get out of the ban so quickly. My parents and brothers were all behind me, including SLC, my manager and my coaches who are too numerous to mention. Although there was some pressure of not being able to play and practice I didn’t feel it because the way I handled it. I have a lot of fans who kept encouraging me.”
The ICC had served Perera with a provisional suspension on December 7 after a random test conducted in October on the A sample came out positive. The second sample B taken at the same time matched his A sample and Perera was faced with a four year ban if he could not prove that he was innocent.
Fortunately for Perera there was a change in the SLC administration and with the advent of Thilanga Sumathipala becoming president at the January 3 elections the whole issue took a new turn. “When the new board came in the entire direction became more professional and more commercial,” said Perera’s manager Ravi de Silva.
“We had to take a new direction for had we stuck to the urine samples Kusal wouldn’t have had a chance to defend himself,” said SLC president Sumathipala. “With the consultation of a reputed law firm in UK Morgan we changed our approach and decided to go through it with scientific evidence,” he said. “We did a polygraph test (lie detector) which came out 100 percent in favour of Kusal and after that we did a test on samples of his hair which is one of the most expensive tests.
The samples were sent to a laboratory in France. This test also proved to be in Kusal’s favour.
“Because of this modern technology we were able to tell the ICC that with the best available technology in the world we have proved that Kusal is not positive. We told them that the tests have proved that he was in the clear so to please lift the ban and allow him to play because he is a unique cricketer and has a lot of cricket ahead of him. Last night (Wednesday) at 11 pm we got the happy news that the ICC has lifted the ban on Kusal and made him free to play cricket as a normal cricketer and be available for selection,” Sumathipala said.
“I was very happy when I heard the news. I am happy that the majority of people and fans and the media stood by me. I am happy that I have been proved right. From the beginning I had told them that I was innocent,” said Perera.