Tharanga relieved as ban ends
Upul Tharanga, the Sri Lanka opener, has said his three-month drug ban that ended on Tuesday was "one of the most difficult situations" in his life.
Tharanga had said that he had failed the drug test during the World Cup because of a herbal remedy to ease discomfort caused by a long-standing shoulder injury. The ICC, while imposing the ban, had accepted that the offence wasn't deliberate.
"The ban affected me psychologically and that was one of the toughest periods in my life," Tharanga told the Island, a Sri Lankan newspaper. "Fortunately that's over now and I am looking forward to the future."
Tharanga was an important performer in the World Cup, with 395 runs at 56.42, forming a powerful opening combination with the tournament's highest run-getter, Tillakaratne Dilshan. He tested positive after the semi-final against New Zealand in Colombo.
"I was shocked when I got to know that I had failed a drug test. I just couldn't understand what had happened," he said a day ahead of his return to international cricket, the first ODI against Australia. He had missed the tour of England as a result of the suspension.
"It's a unique challenge to play and succeed in England due to the conditions and I had a good tour last time in 2006. It was disappointing to miss out on this occasion," he said. "Everything is over now [though], and the captain and the selectors have recalled me as soon as the ban is over. I am looking forward to do well in this series."