Niroshan Dickwella had dyed his hair during the T20I series. Ⓒ Sameera Peiris, thepapare.com.

All members of the Sri Lankan cricket team have been asked to refrain from dying their hair and wearing piercings by a top Sri Lanka Cricket official, according to Ada.lk.

Some of the Sri Lankan cricketers are known for their wacky, oddball hairdos with Sri Lanka’s ace fast bowler Lasith Malinga being the bellwether of such choices of fashion. Ada.lk, citing an internal source within Sri Lanka Cricket, claims that two opening batsmen and a fast bowler have been requested to remove their hair dye and earrings. The article further reveals that this, however, was merely a request to ameliorate players’ discipline and moral decorum, and not a dictum.

Sri Lanka Cricket has a history of ‘disciplining’ players by fashion policing them. The chief victim of it has been Lasith Malinga, who has faced severe admonishment from board officials over a number of years for his hairstyle, despite it having been well-received by fans all over the world. “One top official of Sri Lanka Cricket advised me to change my hair style as well as remove the pierced rings from my eyebrows. I told him that I do not agree with his views and it was my personal choice. I don’t know why they question me about my personal appearance. It has never affected my game at all,” Malinga said in an interview in 2008.

This news has surfaced in the midst of the Sri Lankan team struggling to compete with the imposing South African team, having already been whitewashed in the Test series and facing the possibility of a series defeat in ODIs. While the selections and the role of the coaches have come into question over the dismal performance, Sri Lanka Cricket taking measures to police the fashion choices of the players instead of addressing the real problems that are plaguing the team is egregious.

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Kusal Mendis with his hair dyed during the practice session ahead of Sri Lanka’s 1st ODI. Photo courtesy: thepapare.com

Even though there hasn’t been an official confirmation of the report, Kusal Mendis, who was seen with his hair dyed during the practice session ahead of the 1st ODI, seems to have removed his hair dye in a selfie posted by Upul Tharanga on his official Twitter account, which lends some credibility to the media report.