Chittagong: South Africa’s World Twenty20 preparations were dealt a blow yesterday with Wayne Parnell being forced to leave the Proteas team camp in Bangladesh to appear in court in India.
Parnell is one of 35 “wanted” foreign nationals for allegedly testing positive for recreational drugs following a police raid on a rave party in Mumbai in 2012.
The left-arm seamer, who was playing at the Indian Premier League franchise Pune Warriors at the time, will be forced to miss tomorrow’s Group 1 match against the Netherlands in Chittagong.
Parnell will be accompanied by his manager, Donne Commins, as well as his lawyer, Makrand Narwekar, to Mumbai for the court hearing.
“Wayne Parnell has been called to appear before the court in Mumbai, India purely for procedural purposes in relation to the court’s ongoing administration of the case,” Commins told the Cape Times last night.
“Our understanding is that there will be no substantive enquires made of him and that his bail will in all likelihood be extended. While respecting the Indian legal process, Wayne continues to deny the charges.”
Parnell appeared last year in a Mumbai court and was granted bail after surrendering before it on charges of testing positive for recreational drugs.
Drugs including cocaine, MDMA and cannabis were reportedly consumed at the party, although Parnell was quoted before travelling to last year’s IPL saying: “As far as I am concerned, everything is fine. I’ve got nothing to hide. The full story will come out once I get over there. They tested everyone that was at the party. I need to find my sample, because if they tested me they must have my sample and we need to match that up.
“I’ve been subject to drug testing in my last five years as a professional cricketer, and I haven’t tested positive once. So I’ve got nothing to worry about. As far as I am aware, they didn’t give any specific samples and put them to names. They just said that a certain number of people tested positive. The samples need to be shown now.”
Parnell’s withdrawal is just two days after South Africa claimed a come-from-behind victory over New Zealand.