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SLC denies exploiting loopholes to save Hasaranga for T20 World Cup

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Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has denied exploiting technical loopholes to save star all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga from missing ICC T20 World Cup 2024 matches later this year.

Hasaranga on Tuesday, came out of Test retirement after the third ODI against Bangladesh and was subsequently named in the Sri Lanka squad for the Test series against the same opposition.

However, he was slapped by the International Cricket Council (ICC) with a two-match ban for breaching ICC’s Code of Conduct during the third ODI, ruling him out of the Test series, scheduled to commence on March 22.

He received a 50 per cent fine and accumulated three demerit points for his offence, which brought his total demerit points to eight in 24 months.

The all-rounder was already on five demerit points after receiving three demerit points in the third T20I against Afghanistan in Dambulla last month.

Now, with the addition of the latest demerit points, he has breached the threshold of eight demerit points, which, according to article 7.6 of the Code, have been converted into four suspension points.

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The four suspension points equate to a ban from two Tests or four ODIs or T20Is, whatever comes first.

Hasaranga was named in Sri Lanka’s Test squad after coming out of retirement. As a result, he was banned from two Test matches but would have otherwise missed four T20Is in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

This raised eyebrows among the cricket circles about Hasaranga taking his retirement back to avoid missing games in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

SLC clarified that the all-rounder had expressed his desire to return to Test cricket before the third ODI against Bangladesh through an email on 16 March, owing to his improved fitness.

“It was about two weeks ago that he told us he was open to playing Tests again,” Ajantha Mendis, a member of Sri Lanka’s selection committee told ESPNcricinfo.

“We know how it looks, but this decision was taken well before the final ODI.”

READ: Javeria Khan announces retirement from international cricket

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