Parnell, Rahul Sharma charged in recreational drugs case
South Africa allrounder Wayne Parnell's participation in IPL 2013 is in no doubt, according to his franchise Pune Warriors, despite him being one of 35 "wanted" foreign nationals for allegedly testing positive for recreational drugs following a police raid on a party in Mumbai last year. Parnell's IPL team-mate, Punjabi legspinner Rahul Sharma, who had also reportedly consumed drugs at the party, is also "supposed to join the squad as per schedule", a franchise official told ESPNcricinfo.
Parnell confirmed he will play the IPL and claimed innocence over the drugs charge. "As far as I am concerned, everything is fine," he told ESPNcricinfo. I've received mail from Pune saying I have to come. I've got nothing to hide. The full story will come out once I get over there. They tested everyone that was at the party. I need to find my sample, because if they tested me they must have my sample and we need to match that up.
"I've been subject to drug testing in my last five years as a professional cricketer, and I haven't tested positive once. So I've got nothing to worry about. As far as I am aware, they didn't give any specific samples and put them to names. They just said that a certain number of people tested positive. The individual samples need to be shown now."
Parnell and Sharma were among 90 people detained following the party at a hotel in the Juhu suburb of Mumbai on May 20 last year, a day after Pune Warriors' IPL 2012 campaign ended. According to reports, drugs including cocaine, MDMA and cannabis were consumed at the party.
Of the 90 people, 86 apparently tested positive - 35 foreign nationals, who have been "shown as wanted" as per a police official, and 51 Indians. These 86 people had a 1200-page charge sheet drawn up against them last month, according to PTI.
Apart from the players' franchise, Tony Irish, the chief executive of the South Africa Cricketers' Association, also played down the issue. "Wayne has an individual agent who will deal the matter but we, as the players' association, will assist him in any way we can," Irish said. "From what we know of the facts, there is little substance to them."
With inputs from Firdose Moonda
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo