MeToo Movement

#MeToo: Cricketer Lasith Malinga accused of sexual harassment during IPL

The #MeToo movement seems to have entered the cricketing arena too with prominent singer Chinmayi Sripaada posting a tweet on behalf of an anonymous woman, claiming that Sri Lankan cricketer Lasith Malinga sexually assaulted the woman during an IPL season in a Mumbai hotel.

Sripaada shared a post on Twitter where she put up the anonymous woman’s post, naming, ‘Cricketer Lasith Malinga’, since the alleged victim did not name the cricketer in her statement.

“I’d like to remain anonymous. A few years back when I was in Mumbai, I was looking for my friend in the hotel we were staying in. I bumped into a very famous Sri Lankan cricketer during the IPL season who said my friend was in his room. I go in and she’s not. He then pushed me in the bed and proceeded to climb onto my face.”

“Mind you I’m tall and about same body weight & I couldn’t fight him back. I closed my eyes and mouth but he used my face. Then the hotel staff knocked on the door to replenish the bar which he went to open the door. I quickly ran into the washroom, washed my face and left as soon as the hotel staff left. I was humiliated. I knew people would say that you knowingly went to his room, he’s famous, you wanted it or worse you deserve it,” the alleged tweet read.

Lankan seamer Malinga has taken 306 wickets in 207 ODIs and 90 wickets in 68 T20Is played so far. Malinga also claimed 101 wickets in 30 Tests.

According to Sripaada, the alleged incident took place during an IPL season. Malinga has played for in all the 10 seasons of the IPL. He has 154 wickets to his name from 110 matches in the cash-rich league which also makes him the highest wicket-taker in the history of the IPL.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup-winning captain Arjun Ranatunga was also accused of sexual harassment by an Indian flight attendant.

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.”

An Indian flight attendant accused Arjuna Ranatunga of harassing her at a Mumbai hotel. © AFP

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.

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

“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.”

 

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