Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Lankan Minister's Son Identified as "Drunken" Cricketer on BA Flight

The Sri Lankan 'A' team cricketer who allegedly tried to open the door on a British Airways flight last month has been identified as Ramith Rambukwella, the controversial son of a Sri Lankan government minister.

Mr Rambukwella, 21, allegedly became drunk during the flight from St Lucia to Gatwick and mistook the jet's rear door for the toilet, while the aircraft was 35,000 ft in the air.

The incident caused panic among the 229 passengers on board and led to BA Crew and his teammates rushing to pull the player back.

Recruitment consultant Charlene Francis, 26, of London, who was travelling on the plane with one-year-old daughter TJ, told the Daily Mail: ‘Suddenly he came over and tried to open the cabin door several times. It went on for a few minutes. He was pulling quite heavily.

‘It was very scary. He looked very dazed or drunk. Some of his teammates were shouting and telling him to stop. He seemed quite disorientated.

‘Somebody said the team had been drinking for four hours before they got on the plane,’ she added.

A BA spokesman said Rambukwella had apologised to passengers and cabin crew for his mistake ‘who accepted it in good faith.’

The Sri Lanka A team was travelling back home, via England, after being defeated by the West Indies in a five-match one-day series.

The Sri Lanka Cricket Board is currently investigating the incident. 

Rambukwella has previously said he suffers from "sleepwalking".

He is the son of the Sri Lankan Minister of Media and Information and was accused only making the Sri Lanka 2nd XI due his father's position in government. 

He was first selected for top-flight duty in March for a Twenty20 match against Bangladesh despite  having a patchy record.

The widely criticized decision was defended by Sanath Jayasuriya, the former Sri Lankan opener and now government minister and chairman of selectors.



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