(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided to suspend national player Danushka Gunathilaka from all forms of cricket with immediate effect after the batsman was arrested on sexual assault charges in Australia.
Issuing a statement, the SLC said the Executive Committee will not consider Gunathilaka for any selections.
Furthermore, Sri Lanka Cricket said it 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 penalize the player if found guilty.
“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to emphasize that it adopts a “zero tolerance” policy for any such conduct by a player and will provide all the required support to the Australian law enforcement authorities to carry out an impartial inquiry into the incident,” the cricket board said.
Mr. Gunathilaka, who was arrested by the Sydney Police early Sunday and charged with four counts of sexual assault, was presented to the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on Monday and the court refused to grant bail to the cricketer.
Responding to queries why Gunathilaka was retained in the squad as a “stand-by player” despite being replaced midway through the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup due to injury, SLC yesterday said the decision was taken by the team management in consultation with the doctors and selectors, as Gunathilaka was fast recovering from the injury he suffered.
“Hence, it was decided to keep the player with the team, as he had already acclimatized to the climatic conditions in Australia, and can continue to train with the squad with a view to immediately drafting him back into the 15-member squad should the need arise,” the SLC said in a statement.
The Sri Lankan team failed to qualify for the semifinals of the T20 World Cup and returned to the country today.