Jamie Mitchell believes he was sedated and assaulted by a team doctor, he said in an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Sunday.
The former player has demanded the sport’s governing body to provide answers on what they know of the incident. Cricket Australia has said that they are co-operating with the police investigation.
The 55-year-old said in the interview that he was relieved that “finally there’s some scrutiny of that 1985 tour”.
“Instead of being a highlight of my cricketing life, that tour has caused me trauma and distress over many years,” he told BBC.
Mitchell, who was 18 at the time of the Australian under-19 tour of India and Srilanka in 1985, had felt unwell on the last night of the tour in Colombo. He had then visited the team doctor, who injected him with a drug that left him unconscious for at least 10 hours, he narrated in the ABC interview.
Moreover, his teammates had been instructed to not check up on him. “My teammates left. Anyone could have come in and had access to me,” he said.
“Most of the guys have said they lost me for a couple of days. They remember putting me under the shower the next morning, to get me ready for the flight. They remember trying to dress me. And when we landed, I was wheeled to my parents in a wheelchair,” he added.
Mitchell had confided in a few people at the time, several of whom confirmed the details to ABC. He informed that some other teammates had also noted the doctor’s ‘creepy’ behavior towards players and even foreign children who had come to the team’s hotels.
The teammates also said that the board had not responded to a letter of complaint that the players’ families had written regarding their grievances after the tour.
Mitchell had confronted Cricket Australia last August after seeing a team picture online, and had also urged the government’s corruption and abuse watchdog, Sport Integrity Australia, to take up the matter. The issue then reached the federal police, who are now investigating these allegations of wider misconduct, according to the ABC report.
Mitchell is now demanding the Cricket Australia board to release his medical records from the time, and also to explain why the doctor left professional cricket a while after the tour.
“Cricket Australia has a chance to distinguish itself by facing up to this issue and doing the right thing. And that means transparency, starting with proper answers to many questions,” he said.
Meanwhile, the sports body told Australia’s Nine newspapers that it will take responsibility for allegations of abuse.
Notably, Cricket Australia has not yet signed up to Australia’s national redress scheme for abuse victims, reported BBC.