Danushka Gunathilaka, Sri Lankan opener, has been handed a six match ban by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for breaching ‘Player Code of Conduct and Contractual Obligation’. The announced ban for this player will be applied with immediate effect as he is now set to miss all the limited overs games against South Africa in this series – 5 ODI games and a one-off T20I.
Sri Lanka Cricket board also announced that the player will not be paid for the second Test match against South Africa, which comes down to a fine of 100% match fee. Neither bonus nor any payments will be rolled out to him as per the board’s latest announcement.
During the second Test match between Sri Lanka and South Africa at the SSC, the cricket board had suspended him from International cricket along with a pending inquiry. Though the board had not explicitly put forward the reason behind it, AFP reported that Gunathilaka’s suspension was in the context of a sexual assault accused by a Norwegian woman.
However, as per the inquiry report, the incident reportedly involved Gunathilaka’s acquaintance, who is a British passport-holder of Sri Lankan origin. And the policemen had arrested Sandeep Jude Selliah (Gunathilaka’s friend) following the complaint. The cricket player later stated that he wasn’t aware of the situation as he was asleep.
“He [Danushka Gunathilaka] has said he was asleep and was not aware of what had taken place between his friend and the Norwegian woman,” a policeman told AFP.
Gunathilaka had allegedly breached the team curfew at the time of this incident, which came into light with SLC conducting an inquiry of its own. This was his third misdemeanor/wrongdoing in the last 10 months for Sri Lanka.
In October 2017, Gunathilaka was handed a six match ban as he was reportedly skipped the training session in the series against India. However, the ban was later reduced to three matches. Also, a demerit point was added to Gunathilaka’s disciplinary record for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct against Bangladesh in the ODI Tri Series Final in January 2018.
In the aftermath of this incident, Danushka Gunathilaka has not been named in the Sri Lanka’s squad for the limited overs games against South Africa. Sri Lanka are already without the services of Dinesh Chandimal who is also currently serving a 6 match ban (2 Test matches and 4 ODIs).
Sri Lanka Squad for South Africa ODIs:
Angelo Mathews (c), Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Thisara Perera, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha, Akila Dananjaya, Prabath Jayasuriya, Lakshan Sandakan, Shehan Jayasuriya
** Image credits to Hindustan Times