London : A drunk Sri Lankan cricketer caused a flutter on a packed British Airways flight from St Lucia to London’s Gatwick airport when he tried to open the cabin door at 35,000ft.
According to British newspaper ‘The Daily Mail,’ the distraught player tried to open the door for up to two minutes before telling cabin crew on board that he had mistaken it for the toilet.
The recruitment consultant who is on maternity leave told the Daily Mail, ”It was pretty frightening. I’m a nervous flyer anyway but things had been fine until then. I was awake as my daughter had been crying. So I saw everything.’
She said the man wrestling with the door was among a group of cricket players wearing the blue Sri Lankan polo-shirt team uniform with their country’s name in yellow lettering.
”Suddenly he came over and tried to open the cabin door several times. It went on for a few minutes. He was tugging at the door quite heavily.’
”The BA flight attendants came running down the aisle and tried to calm him down. He seemed quite disoriented. At one stage he was leaning against my daughter’s cot.”
She heard the man tell cabin crew that he had been looking for the toilet. The witness said some of his teammates were shouting and telling him to stop.
According to one account, the players had been drinking for four hours before they got on the plane. After the player explained his mistake the cabin crew accepted the explanation in good faith. The crew stressed that it was impossible to open the pressurised door in mid-flight and that at no point was the safety of passengers compromised.
Security personnel were informed on the ground but police were not called or involved. The Sri Lanka Cricket board has ordered an inquiry into reports that a member of the country’s ‘A’ team caused a mid-air panic in an inebriated state. ESPNcricinfo has revealed the name of the players on their twitter page as Ramith Rambukwella.