03/12/2022

Sri Lanka Cricket suspends Gunathilaka after rape charges in Australia

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has suspended batter Danushka Gunathilaka from all forms of cricket with immediate effect after he was charged and arrested on rape charges in Sydney.

In an official statement, SLC said, “The Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket decided to suspend national player Danushka Gunathilaka from all forms of cricket with immediate effect and will not consider him for any selections after being informed that Mr. Gunathilaka was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a woman in Australia.

“Furthermore, Sri Lanka Cricket will take the necessary steps to promptly carry out an inquiry into the alleged offense, and, upon conclusion of the aforementioned court case in Australia, steps will be taken to penalise the said player if found guilty.

Gunathilaka was ruled out of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in the first round after sustaining a hamstring injury. He was replaced by travelling reserve Ashen Bandara but stayed with in Australia with the Lankan squad.

The 31-year-old has represented Sri Lanka in 46 T20Is and has scored 741 runs at an average of 16.46.

Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign was cut short following a defeat in its final group match against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.

Gunathilaka denied bail by local court

Gunathilaka was denied bail after the hearing at a local court here on Monday.

He attended the hearing via a video link in Downing Centre Local Court from Surry Hills cells.

According to a report in Sydney Morning Herald, Gunathilaka was handcuffed and wearing a grey T-shirt and blue jeans during his virtual attendance at the hearing.

His lawyer Ananda Amaranath made a bail application during the “closed court” hearing and magistrate Robert Williams refused bail, the report said.

“Certainly, we are considering an application to the Supreme Court and that will be done as soon as possible,” Amaranth was quoted as saying in the report.

“He’ll be disappointed, clearly.” The Sri Lankan team had left Australia without Gunathilaka after being eliminated from the T20 World Cup on Saturday.

(With inputs from PTI)

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