Former club rugby player Rohitha Rajapaksa yesterday denied that he wanted to play at the upcoming Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Major League 50-over tournament, also shooting down media reports that he was bidding to feature in the Lanka Premier League (LPL) in December or potentially run for cricket administration.
The youngest son of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Rohitha has had a long association with rugby, having represented Navy SC, Army SC and CH & FC as a player before taking on coaching roles at various levels of the sport.
Reports on social media claimed that Rohitha had participated in a practice match at the Surrey Ground in Maggona yesterday and had expressed a desire to lay for the Kalutara team at the 50-over club tournament.
Suggestions were that he was either trying to qualify for the LPL, the franchise-cricket tournament that features international cricketers, or attempting to meet the eligibility criteria to run for cricket administration.
“I have no intention of getting involved with the cricket administration and neither do I have any intention of playing for the LPL,” Rajapaksa said in a statement circulated by his Media Secretary, which was received at 10:25 p.m.
“If I’m playing any sport I give my 100% and that’s only because I love sports. I am currently preparing for the rugby sevens tournament on the 30th and 31st of this month and I am currently playing cricket with our old Thomian team,” the statement also said.
However, when Daily Mirror spoke to the President of the Kalutara TC earlier in the evening, he said that Rohitha had approached him about playing for the club.
“He came and spoke to me and said he was keen to play cricket with our club. He has been playing for the last six or seven months and he said he was interested in playing in the upcoming 50-over club tournament,” Kalutara Town Club President Deepal Perera told the Daily Mirror.
“I don’t know whether he wants to continue playing beyond the 50-over tournament, but his initial plan is to play in that tournament,” Perera added.