Sports ministry panel to hear each case separately

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Bipin Dani

The final verdict on three former Sri Lankan cricketers- Avishka Gunawardana, Nuwan Zoysa and Dilhara Lokuhettige- and the video analyst Sanath Jayasundara whose grievances are being heard by a three-member panel (appointed by the sports ministry) is likely to be delayed by a few weeks, if not few months.
This is because one panel member (Rasika Weerathunga) will be going on a vacation. All four, who have been banned by the ICC on various charges, are represented by a common lawyer Chrishmal Warnasuriya.
Except Dilhara Lokuhettige, who now lives in Australia, other three, accompanied by six other junior lawyers, were present on Thursday.
“During our 1 1/2 hour long preliminary meeting (which was audio recorded) with the panel, our lawyers briefed them about the legality of the ban and jurisdiction under which the bans have been imposed”, one of the sources aware about the proceedings, said.
“There are likely to be more hearings and each case will be heard separately as they are charged on different counts”.
“The lawyers have been asked to provide details of each individual in separate files”. “Their main concern is without being heard by them, they are suspended”.
“In the case of Nuwan Zoysa, he was treated like a criminal (by the ICC investigators). His phone was taken and was not given a chance to speak to any of his family members and he was seated in the vehicle and taken to a hotel for interrogation”, the source, who was present at the hearing, said.

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