SLC hand Gunathilaka, Mendis and Dickwella one-year ban from international cricket

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have suspended the trio of Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka and Niroshan Dickwella for one year from international cricket, with them also ineligible to play domestic cricket for the next six months. In addition, the trio have also been fined USD 50,000 each.

The Sri Lankan trio of Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka and Niroshan Dickwella have been suspended for one year from international cricket for their misconduct during the tour of England last month, during which they were found guilty of breaking Covid protocols. Mendis, Gunathilaka and Dickwella were all part of the T20I series against England, but were found roaming in the streets of Durham – a severe bubble-breach – prior to the ODIs, owing to which they were withdrawn from the tour immediately and sent back home. The trio were then indefinitely suspended – making them ineligible for selection – until a final decision was taken.

Now, a day after the team’s 2-1 T20I series win over India, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have confirmed that the three players in question have been handed one-year bans from international cricket, apart from also being fined USD 50,000 each. In addition to this, Mendis, Gunathilaka and Dickwella will be ineligible to participate in domestic cricket for the next six months.

SLC have also confirmed that ‘upon completion of the said one year Ban, each player will be subjected to a further ban of one year from playing international Cricket which will be suspended for a period of two years’, while the board have also recommended the three players ‘Mandatory Counselling under a Doctor recommended by the SLC’.

While the committee that investigated the incident proposed a two-year ban for Gunathilaka and Mendis and a 18-month suspension for Dickwella, SLC decided to shorten the duration of the punishment, reducing it to 12 months. Notably, two of the three players in question had blemished records even prior to the incident in England. While Gunathilaka had served two previous suspensions, Mendis was in the news last year after running over a pedestrian while driving. Dickwella had no prior disciplinary breaches, but the wicket-keeper batsman has found himself be handed the same punishment as the other two players.

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