The Telegraph
Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sumathipala clears stand

Calcutta: Thilanga Sumathipala, the president of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), has dismissed talk that the witchcraft controversy embarrassed the organisation.

"Dinesh Chandimal, our Test captain, visited a lady sorcerer before the two-Test series against Pakistan. He did so in his individual capacity...

"It just so happened that we won both the Tests...

"Resorting to witchcraft or sorcery isn't something which has been institutionalised by SLC, so there's no question of any embarrassment," Sumathipala, who is also deputy speaker of the Sri Lanka Parliament, told The Telegraph on Tuesday.

Sumathipala added: "If SLC involves members of the clergy or representatives of different faiths, then they get invited to our HQ. Their blessings are sought and given there...

"I may point out that a former captain had gone to the same lady sorcerer at some point in the past, but he didn't win that particular series...

"So, it's the quality of the cricket out in the middle which wins matches, not exactly witchcraft or sorcery...

"However, individuals - Chandimal included - do have the right to follow their beliefs. All in their individual capacity, that is."

Meanwhile, SLC is hosting a 50-over triangular tournament next March. India and Bangladesh are the two invitees.

Sumathipala, who came to deliver a lecture at the inaugural Jagmohan Dalmiya Annual Conclave, invited Mrs Chandralekha Dalmiya and Sourav Ganguly, the Cricket Association of Bengal president, to be SLC's guests during the triangular.

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