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#MeToo in cricket: Malinga, Ranatunga accused of sexual harassment

The former Sri Lankan captain has been accused of harassment by a flight attendant at a Mumbai hotel.

cricket Updated: Oct 11, 2018 22:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
MeToo,Sexual harassment,Arjuna Ranatunga
File image of Lasith Malinga in action during a training session for Sri Lanka.(AFP)

The #MeToo movement, which has been on the rise, with women coming out and narrating incidents of sexual harassment and naming the offenders, it seems has now entered the sport of cricket with two Sri Lankan cricketers being accused of harassment.

1996 World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has been accused of harassment by an Indian flight attendant at a Mumbai hotel. In a detailed Facebook post, the woman said that Ranatunga, currently Sri Lanka’s Minister of Petroleum Resources Development, allegedly grabbed her by the waist. When she went to complain about the incident, she was told, “It is your private matter.”

The Facebook post in which Arjuna Ranatunga has been accused of sexual harassment (Facebook Screenshot)

In the post the woman wrote,”My star struck colleague spotted Indian and Sri Lankan cricketers in the elevator of Hotel Juhu Centaur, Mumbai and decided to meet them in their room for autographs. I decided to chaperone her, fearing for her safety, we were offered drinks (perhaps laced) I declined and stuck to my bottle of water I’d brought along . They were 7 and we 2, they latched the room door putting the chain secure. My discomfort growing inside of me, I urged her to get back to our room.

“She was smitten and wanted to go for a stroll by the poolside, this was at 1900 hrs, the walk to the pool a desolate, unlit pathway at the back of the hotel, I look back to find (her friend) and the Indian cricketer nowhere in sight.

“Ranatunga grabs me by waist, sliding his hands along the side of my breasts, I scream fearing the worst, kicking on his legs and feet. Threatening him of dire consequences, passport cancellation, reporting it to the cops etc., for he is a Sri Lankan misbehaving with an Indian. Wasting no time, I dashed for the hotel reception a good run on an incline screaming on top of my voice. The reception said, “it is your private matter” and that they can’t help me.”

Indian playback singer Chinmayi Sripaada shared a post from a follower who recalled an incident where a cricketer sexually assaulted the woman in his hotel room in Mumbai when she was searching for her friend. The cricketer invited her to his room saying that her friend was there. In no position to leave the room, she was finally saved when the hotel staff came in to replenish the bar. She managed to leave the room after the staff left.

While the singer has named the cricketer as Lasith Malinga, the other twitter post of her’s which contain chats with the follower, who has named the Lankan paceman, could not be embedded. Here are screenshots taken from Chinamyi’s Twitter wall.

Screenshot of photos posted by singer Chinmayi Sripaada of her conversation with a follower (Twitter Screenshot)

First Published: Oct 11, 2018 16:04 IST