ICC to support Kusal's damages claim off WADA - SLC chief

Kusal Perera had missed Sri Lanka's tour to New Zealand, T20s against India, the Asia Cup and the World T20 due to his suspension AFP

The ICC has agreed to support Sri Lanka Cricket and Kusal Perera's claim for costs and damages from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala has said.

Perera had been suspended after a Qatar-based lab found a banned substance in his urine sample, but the doping charges were dropped in May when an independent analyst found that the WADA-accredited lab's findings were not sustainable.

Though the ICC had previously said it "does not accept that it is responsible" for the consequences the lab's findings, SLC believes it has got the ICC's support in its attempt to obtain both costs and compensation from WADA itself.

Sumathipala said the board's request for compensation for Perera received widespread support at the recent ICC meeting in Edinburgh.

"We appealed to the ICC about the injustice that had happened to Kusal, and we were given an audience at the CEOs' meeting. I must say the committee comprising of the CEOs unanimously supported our claim," he said. "Then it came to the board meeting, and at the board meeting we made the appeal that there should be compensation - not just the cost. It was decided that the costs and the compensation should be paid to him, because the ICC took the position that the claim made by Kusal is fair and justifiable. ICC decided to stand by Sri Lanka Cricket and support the claim."

SLC said it spent about 13 million Sri Lankan rupees (US $92,000 approx) on fighting the case. The player himself is expected to pay this figure back to the board, according to Perera's management. The board, however, has been adamant that those responsible for the imposition of the five-month suspension on Perera should ultimately bear the costs. Sumathipala suggested that no less than 35 million rupees (US $246,000) was appropriate, given Perera's loss of earnings during the suspension, and the "damage to his reputation".

"This kind of compensation has never ever been paid to anybody in the history of cricket," Sumathipala said. "The ICC and SLC are together in this - the money is ultimately coming from WADA, through the ICC, to Kusal. It is a new experience for WADA as well."

Sumathipala said the board was optimistic WADA would provide compensation, as it has already accepted there was a flaw in its processes. "I don't think we will have to go to court over it," he said. According to Sumathipala, the ICC and WADA have also blacklisted the Qatar-based lab.

Discussions with WADA are believed to be in their very early stages, though, and Perera himself is yet to be brought up to speed on the situation. SLC officials are expected to meet with Perera and his management after the player returns from the England tour on Thursday.

Perera missed a full tour of New Zealand, bilateral T20s against India, the Asia Cup and the World T20 as a result of the suspension. He was also ineligible for this year's IPL auction, as well as the initial Test squad for England as he had only recently returned to training.