Drunk Sri Lankan cricketer tries to open plane cabin door at 35,000ft

Jul 02, 2013, 22:34 IST | Agencies

A Sri Lankan cricketer tried to open the door of an aircraft while flying at 35,000 ft in an inebriated state, according to news reports

The drunk cricketer who attempted to pull the exterior door of the aircraft said that he was searching for the toilet. Media reports said a drunken Sri Lankan cricketer caused panic on a packed British Airways flight when he tried to open the cabin door at 35,000ft.

The batsman was seen by other passengers pushing and pulling the door on the plane while searching for the toilet, about two hours out from London's Gatwick airport on Monday, British media have reported.

British Airways (BA) crew members subdued the player, whose actions were causing panic among the plane's 229 passengers, according to the Daily Mail.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said it was "disappointed" with the reported incident and vowed disciplinary action against the batsman if it was proved true.

ESPNcricinfo revealed the name of the player on their twitter page. "SLC names Ramith Rambukwella as the Sri Lanka A player who mistook the airplane exit as a toilet door "due to the dim lights in the cabin"," the tweet said.

Later, former Sri Lankan player Russel Arnold also tweeted, saying that the 21-year old opening batsman had realised his mistake and apologised.

"Rambukwella apologized to passengers immediately for his mistake caused due to dim light according to managers report.Inquiry to follow..," Arnold tweeted. 


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Sri Lanka Cricket said Tuesday it would investigate reports a drunk player tried to open a cabin door at 35,000 feet (10,600 metres) during a flight from St Lucia to London.

"An inquiry will be conducted based on the manager's report and disciplinary action will be taken," SLC said in a statement, which did not give details of the incident.

The reports said the player was returning from the West Indies, where the team had been competing.

The cricketer, who is a member of Sri Lanka's 'A' team, has not been named in media reports or by Sri Lanka Cricket.

"During the flight a man got up and tried to go to the toilet. But instead of going to the toilet he tried to open the aircraft door in mid flight," a BA spokesperson was quoted as saying.

"The event was linked to an element of alcohol. He explained his mistake and cabin crew accepted it in good faith."

It added that the airline had reassured passengers that it was impossible to open the pressurised door mid-flight and that at no point was the safety of passengers compromised.

The Sri Lankan cricket board later issued a fresh statement in which they provided details of the incident.

"The team has boarded the flight BA 2158 from Grenada. The incident took place around midnight during the flight. The player concerned namely Ramith Rambukwella had tried to use the toilet. Due to the dim lights in the cabin the player has mistakenly tried to open one of cabin doors thinking it was the toilet door," a SLC statement said. 

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