- Players’ Code of Ethics to be incorporated into national cricketers’ contracts
By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Sri Lanka Cricket has reprimanded national cricketer Kusal Mendis for being involved in a fatal motor accident in Panadura and said that they are taking steps to include a Players’ Code of Ethics to the contracts of the national players.
Mendis was involved in a fatal motor accident in Panadura on 5 July that killed a 64-year-old cyclist while driving home in his vehicle after attending a dinner in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Sri Lanka Cricket issued him with a charge sheet to which he had responded and subsequently an inquiry was held after which he was issued a warning by SLC.
“There are certain clauses in the contractual agreement with Sri Lanka Cricket which he has brought disrepute to the organisation. We reprimanded him and basically given him a warning based on that,” said Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley de Silva.
The incident involving Mendis has got the SLC to review the player contracts and make necessary changes to it for the future. “We are introducing a Players’ Code of Ethics when they sign a new contract. There are a lot of areas covered but there are some more areas to be covered so we would be including that as well in the agreement,” said De Silva.
“Most of these things are covered when there are tours and when they are on duty. This is a very exceptional case where for the last three to four months they have not been playing cricket. We feel that even if they go out in the night after 12 midnight they shouldn’t be using their own transport. If they are, they should use a driver or they should use some other source of transport,” explained De Silva.
“We are trying to bring in some control so we might have to look at it internally. We will have to go through the agreement also and areas which have not been covered in the agreement we have to include,” he continued.
“Even though Mendis was not on duty at the time it became a bit of an issue because he is a national player and he is contracted to Sri Lanka Cricket. Because of that there is a connection between Sri Lanka Cricket and the player. The organisation is also being exposed, not only the player. It’s a kind of a thing bringing disrepute to the organisation. There are a few clauses where they shouldn’t bring disrepute to the organisation, it is based on that only we have given him a warning,” De Silva said.
“If you are not a national cricketer nobody would have taken any notice and not even known about the accident. If a national player is involved people would come out with so many stories that he has been out somewhere that he has been under the influence of liquor and so forth. To avoid that kind of situation we are trying to bring some kind of control.”
De Silva said that the SLC would draw up the Players’ Code of Ethics in consultation with their internal lawyers and once it has been approved by the ExCo it would be shared with the national players at the time of signing the annual contract.
The current players’ contract terminates at the end of November and the Players’ Code of Ethics will be included when they sign a fresh one.