Colombo, Jun 13: Sri Lankan Government might ban fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who was recently named the ambassador of ICC World T20 tournament that is scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka later this year.
If the government decides on banning the pacer, Malinga might not be able to be a part of the Sri Lankan T20 side during the mega event in September.
Lankan Government has decided to ban all the Sri Lankan athletes who have refused to represent the country.
Malinga, who quit Test cricket last year in order to make himself available for Indian Premier League and continue his focus on limited overs format, has been the reason for Government's decision.
There are reports stating that Malinga also refused to renew his contract with the Sri Lankan board due to low payments.
Talking about the issue, Mahindananda Aluthgamage the Sports Minister of Sri Lanka said the country will impose a ban on athletes who do not sign the contracts with national team.
"I am a great follower of fast bowler Lasith Malinga but that does not mean that I condone all his actions," Aluthgamage told Sri Lanka's Sunday Times newspaper.
"We have taken the cue from Malinga. In future, if sportspersons who are performing at national level fail to sign their central contracts with their specific sports bodies we will slap a two-year ban on them."
"This is a trend that we must nip in the bud. I find fault with the administrators for not getting tough on the players," the minister added.
"For instance, in the contract it is stipulated that a cricketer must be in the country at least two weeks prior to a tour. But, most of the cricketers who were engaged in the IPL returned to the island only a few days before the Pakistan tour. Yet, the SLC officials have not taken any action against anyone. As I understand, most of them still even have not signed their central contracts. That's bad," Aluthgamage said.
While he also ensured that in future if athletes do not sign the central contract.
"However, in the future, sportspersons engaged in any discipline at national level and do not sign the central contract will face the two-year ban."
Contrary to Sports Minister'claims, Malinga has said he was not offered any contract to play this year, while the ministry had claimed that the pacer had refused to sign the new contract.
"No contracts have been offered yet for this year for any of the players," Malinga said.
He also clarified that he is completely fit and available for selection for all limited overs formats for Sri Lanka.
"But whether I decide to play with or without [a] contract, does not really matter as I am still 100-percent available for selection for all ODI and T20 commitments for Sri Lanka just like I was last year."
It remains to be seen if the Sri Lankan government is keen on implenting this rule as Malinga has been named the ambassador of the ICC World T20 to be played at Sri Lanka in September 2012. Moreover, he might not be able to participate in the mega event, if the Government imposes a two-year ban on the fast bowler.