Sri Lanka keeps Vandersay on suspense | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka keeps Vandersay on suspense


Uncapped leg-spin bowler Jeffrey Vandersay has been kept waiting by Sri Lanka Cricket, perhaps a virtual scapegoat, to learn why he was forced out of the South Africa homes series which begins on July 12 in Galle.

The 27-year old Vandersay who has been in and out of the Sri Lanka team over the past three years and is yet to play a Test match, was sent home from the concluded tour of the West Indies two weeks ago on what Sri Lanka Cricket said was a “breach of contract”.

But the only course of action taken is that Vandersay has been given a charge sheet to explain his conduct on tour while Sri Lanka Cricket refuses to shed any light on what ever happened in the West Indies.

“We are currently carrying out an inquiry and waiting for Vandersay’s response and based on it we will have to take a decision. It cannot be revealed to the media what happened (in the West Indies) but it’s in the tour manager’s report”, said Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley de Silva.

The Sunday Observer learns that the so-called “breach of contract” by Vandersay refers to the bowler indulging in the usual ‘cricketer’s night out’ that eventually put him in a situation where he was unable to find his way back to the hotel, meaning he was lost and returned only the next morning.

“What I can tell you is that Vandersay could not find his way back to the hotel and showed up the next morning while the rest of the team was waiting for him to board a plane to fly to the next venue of the third Test from St. Lucia”, said an official.

Two other players who were out with Vandersay in the night in question are said to have “returned in time”.

The build-up to the Sri Lanka-South Africa Test series is not without uncertainty and confusion as the International Cricket Council (ICC) is expected to deliver its verdict on the ball tampering episode involving the captain Dinesh Chandimal on Tuesday (July 10). Following the incident the ICC has tightened screws on cheating with the ball at its meeting held last week where it also warned Sri Lanka Cricket against postponing an overdue election of office bearers.

Despite a possible match ban Chandimal was named in the 16-member squad for the two-Test series against South Africa and the players got down to preparations only last Friday with all indications pointing to Sri Lanka depending on slow home pitches to blunt an opposing battery of fast bowlers which the touring team has already said was their overwhelming strength.

Sri Lanka has picked four slow bowlers in spinners Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dhananjaya, Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath who has to undergo a fitness test with Milinda Pushpakumara named as cover for him.

The South Africans have also come prepared for any eventuality with three spinners for the expectant slow pitches.