New Delhi, Jul 21: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Friday stood behind under-fire Rahul Sharma who tested positive for drugs in a rave party in May, saying the young leg-spinner probably committed the "mistake unknowingly" and he, therefore, should not lose his place in the national team for the offence.
Rave Party: Rahul Sharma tested positive for drugs
The Mumbai Police today confirmed that Rahul along with South African cricketer Wayne Parnell, who were arrested at a rave party in Juhu on May 20, tested positive for drugs. They are among the 100-odd people who were detained by the police on that day.
"It's disappointing but I think, it's a mistake more than a routine thing. He's a young boy, he had gone for a party where probably I am not sure whether knowingly or unknowingly, he had it," Ganguly said.
"I don't think it was a performance enhancing drug for which he should be punished. I think it was of those strange incident, one unfortunate incident which should not cost him his India place.
"He should be punished for little bit of time but I don't think it's such a grave issue that he should be banned from playing for India. The BCCI needs to counsel him," he added.
Ganguly said that the incident should serve a "learning" experience for the two young cricketers.
"I hope it's a learning curve for both Rahul and Wayne Parnell because they are both very young boys. I hope they don't make this mistake again," the Bengal southpaw told a leading news channel.