COLOMBO: Sri Lanka is considering imposing a temporary ban on national athletes who refuse to represent the country at any given time.
Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage told Xinhua on Monday that amendments will be introduced to the local sports law to give room for sporting bodies to implement the ban.
“We are having issues mostly in cricket and rugby where national team players often refuse to represent the country when the national team has a scheduled tour and at times opt to play for some other event. So we are now looking at bringing in amendments to the sports law to allow sporting bodies to temporarily ban such players,” he said.
Recently some members of the national rugby team refused to take part in a tournament involving the national side after the team captain was replaced.
Some of the senior players were agitated over a decision to appoint Yoshitha Rajapaksa, the son of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as captain for the team at the Asian Five Nations Division tournament in the Philippines last April.
Speaking to the media at the time, new captain Yoshitha Rajapaksa said it was unacceptable that the national team players refused to represent the country.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan cricketer Lasith Malinga had refused to sign a contract with the Sri Lankan cricket board citing low payments.
The Sri Lankan cricket board named Malinga among the top players who will be offered contracts to represent the national team.
Malinga played at the recent Indian Premier League tournament following a lucrative deal but in future if selected to play for the national team he will be forced to forgo such a deal or be temporarily banned.
Cricket is the most popular sport in Sri Lanka and the cricket board was once the highest money making sporting body till it ran into financial difficulties recently resulting in even the players not receiving their payments on time.
THE TIMES OF INDIA