COLOMBO: After refusing to sign a contract with the Sri Lankan cricket board citing low payments recently, cricketer Lasith Malinga is at risk of being banned from the squad as Sri Lankan government is considering imposing a temporary ban on national athletes who refuse to represent the country at any given time.
Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said 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.
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.
Malinga was recently named the ambassador of ICC World T20 tournament that is scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka later this year.