Kusal Mendis to leave CCC, set to play for SSC

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Sri Lanka top order batsman Kusal Mendis, who is currently facing one year suspension from International Cricket over misconduct, has decided to part ways with Colombo Cricket Club (CCC) and is set to play for Singhalese Sports Club (SSC), Cricket Age exclusively learns.

In June this year, Sri Lanka Cricket had suspended Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka after the three admitted to breaching the team’s bio-secure bubble in Durham during UK tour.

According to sources, a desperate Mendis wanted to somehow revoke the one year ban and even tried to pressurize CCC top brass. He even made an official request to SLC to reduce the ban. However, board president Shammi Silva, even after being CCC president also, stayed firm, didn’t favor him and rejected Mendis appeal.

“After his appeal was rejected, he decided to part ways with club. He has officially informed us and we are also fine with his decision. It’s his choice, wherever he wants to play” a top CCC official told Cricket Age.

As it has been a trend since first week of August 2020 that every player joins SSC, Mendis has also decided the same. According to sources, SSC head coach Thilina Kandamby lured Mendis through his manager Asanga.

In last one year, Cricket Age has exposed several times that Kandamby and another former national fast bowler, who both played for Sri Lanka, have constantly been approaching other clubs players, using various tactics. Ashen Bandara and Dilum Sadeera of Saracens , Avishka Fernando of prestigious Colts Cricket Club and Kavindu Nadeeshan of Colombo Cricket Club (CCC) have already been taken by the SSC. It had also emerged that Kandamby and the said fast bowler are just pawns, as a former international player from the SSC, along with a current member of the national team, is the mastermind behind these unethical methods.

Then in September last year, SSC was formally accused of poaching rival clubs players by using unethical methodsThe sensational allegation was made by Chilaw Marians secretary Godfrey Dabrera, who is also the manager of international venues and stadiums at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

“We wish to bring to your kind attention that we have reliable information that two of our players have been approached by current/former SSC players/third parties.

There is an understanding between first-class clubs that we will not try to poach players from each other Club’s by unethical methods. If a club really needs a certain player, then this request should come through official communication between club officials/management.

Therefore, we kindly request you to look into this matter and take necessary action” Godfrey, in his letter to SSC secretary Vasantha Wijesekera, dated August 31, had written.

“Apparently Mendis has been given assurance by  some of SSC people that his suspension could be reduced if he joins the setup, as now everything at Sri Lanka cricket is centered around the club” a cricket expert told Cricket Age.

Presently, Mahela Jayawardene is serving SSC as cricket committee chairman apart from heading National Sports Council. Its a clear case of conflict of interest, but Mahela is least bothered about the fact!



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N Krishnamurthy