The Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) has confirmed on Wednesday (July 7), that it has set up a five-member panel to investigate the disciplinary issue involving Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, and Danushka Gunathilaka, who was sent back from Sri Lanka’s recent tour of England.
The trio was found guilty of breaching the Sri Lanka team bio-bubble on the eve of the first ODI between Sri Lanka and England, as they (Mendis and Dickwella) were filmed and photographed by fans in the public domain, outside of the team bio-bubble. The three were immediately punished and sent back home, where they went into quarantine on arrival.
Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis repeat offenders
The three players have been suspended until the completion of inquiry and were not part of the Sri Lanka training squad for the upcoming white-ball series against India.
“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce the appointment of a 5-member panel to inquire into the alleged misconduct of three players, namely Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, and Niroshan Dickwella while touring England with the national team,” said SLC in a statement.
The panel includes Justice Nimal Dissanayaka (Retd Judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka), Panduka Keerthinanda, Attorney-at-Law, Asela Rekawa, Attorney-at-Law, Uchitha Wickremasinghe, Attorney-at-Law, and Major General (Retd) M.R.W. De Zoysa.
Danushka Gunathilaka has been found guilty numerous other times as well in the past. He was suspended for six matches for misconduct in 2017. He was said to have skipped a training session after late-night partying. In another incident, he had turned up at the ground during a matchday without his kit bag. In 2018, he had been suspended after an alleged incident of sexual assault.
Meanwhile, Kusal Mendis has been arrested in July 2020, and later released on bail, for running over a 64-year-old man in Panadura. Mendis was appointed the vice-captain of the Sri Lankan team in a year’s time.
Players Sign SLC Contract After Ultimatum
The Sri Lanka central contract impasse finally ended on July 7, when 25 cricketers signed new performance-related contracts ahead of the home white-all series against India after the SLC had issued the ultimatum.
Sri Lanka’s Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne and veteran all-rounder Angelo Mathews have been left out of the central contracts and it has been reported that they might be paid on an appearance basis in Tests. This has led to Angelo Mathews informing SLC of his plans to retire from international cricket.
Mathews’ annual fee would fall from 130,000 dollars a year to 80,000 dollars, Karunaratne was offered 70,000 dollars, a drop of 30,000 dollars under the new deal.