Sri Lanka blows out flame in super brat Karunaratne | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka blows out flame in super brat Karunaratne

27 November, 2022
Chamika Karunaratne
Chamika Karunaratne

Attention-seeking, self-glorified cricketer Chamika Karunaratne whose off-field antics landed him in trouble during Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup debacle in Australia threw in the towel and pleaded guilty to all charges levelled against him.

He then left the country to play in a private showbiz cricket series in the United Arab Emirates after being axed from the team currently playing against Afghanistan.

For the next 12 months Karunaratne, who became too big for his boots and seemingly bigger than the game within a short period of time, will be living on a knife’s edge as far as dignity is concerned after his employer Sri Lanka Cricket handed him a one-year suspended ban and fined him Rs.1.8 million.

Sri Lanka Cricket did not specify what it probed against Karunaratne other than say the charges were of a serious nature and that the Inquiry Panel had recommended he be “strongly warned” with a punishment that will “not impact on his cricketing career”.

But an investigation by the Sunday Observer revealed that Karunaratne besides being involved in an off-field brawl had given his hotel staff the jitters on two occasions by lighting a prohibited flame in his room violating a warning to refrain from the alarming act.

The hotel management saw Karunaratne’s secretive act as “superstitious” and the flame he lit had set off the hotel’s fire alarm system that almost summoned fire engines expecting the worst.

“Karunaratne accepted all charges against him and pleaded guilty. As his one year ban is suspended he will be able to win back his place in the team if selected,” said Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley de Silva.

But Karunaratne’s case is unlikely to end the sordid saga of the tour of Australia any time soon with batsman Dhanushka Gunathilaka set to appear in a Sydney courthouse on January 12 over a rape charge and a team manager facing charges of conduct unbecoming of his responsibility.

Both acts and that of Karunaratne’s conduct along with other issues of off-field jaunts have resulted in the team taking its place in history as the most indisciplined Sri Lankan side at a World Cup.