March 12, 2016 04:36 pm
A former Sri Lankan test cricketer will not be able to play in a grand final with an outer-suburban Melbourne cricket club following a Supreme Court decision after a suspension, Australian media reported.
Malinga Bandara and the Springvale South Cricket Club launched eleventh-hour legal action on Friday to quash the leg-spinner’s two game suspension handed down on Thursday night.
The Dandenong District Cricket Association’s tribunal found him guilty of misconduct for swearing at opposition player Trevor Davies before raising his bat in a threatening manner.
Davies was found guilty of the same charge for grabbing Bandara’s helmet during the altercation in last Saturday’s game.
Bandara’s lawyer, Myles Tehan, said the tribunal denied the player procedural fairness and natural justice by not allowing Davies to be called as a witness in his case.
But tribunal chairwoman Christine Ware told the court, the player advocate who represented Bandara did not indicate at the appropriate time that Davies would be called as a witness.
Ms Ware said the advocate raised the matter during the summing up of arguments, after Davies had been excused from the hearing and left to go home.
Further, the court heard Davies had not been approached to give evidence by Bandara prior to the hearing.
Justice Jack Forrest upheld the tribunal’s decision, handing down his ruling just two hours from the start of play in the league’s grand final.
Earlier he told the hearing there was “an issue as to about whether this court should ever intervene with the decision of a domestic tribunal.”
Outside the court, Springvale South’s club chairman Tim Cockayne said he was very disappointed Bandara would miss the grand final.
“I’m extremely disappointed for him and his reputation,” he said.
“He’s never been reported, never been disciplined, never been suspended.”
But tribunal chairwoman Ms Ware said common sense had prevailed.
“The Supreme Court of Melbourne is not where I expected to be this morning,” she said.