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Sri Lanka cricketers Mendis, Dickwella, Gunathilaka banned for a year for bubble breach

Niroshan Dickwella

Colombo, July 31: Sri Lanka trio Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka have been banned from international cricket for a year after breaching the team's bio-secure bubble in England.

The players were in Durham preparing for the first of three ODIs against the world champions last month when they left the team hotel to visit the city centre despite strict COVID-19-related rules.

Batsmen Mendis and Gunathilaka and wicketkeeper-batsman Dickwella were sent home and have now been hit with strong sanctions.

The executive committee of Sri Lanka Cricket took into account recommendation made by an independent panel of inquiry before handing down a 12-month ban from playing at international level and a six-month domestic suspension.

They were also given a further one-year ban, which is suspended for a two-year period.

Mendis, Dickwella and Gunathilaka have been fined 10million Sri Lanka Rupees (around £36,000) for their indiscretion. The trio is also banned from playing domestic cricket for six months.

The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) also found them guilty of violating the instructions and regulations of the team Management with regard to the team curfew by failing to be at the hotel room by 10.30 p.m

"The Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket at its meeting has given due consideration to the recommendations of the Panel of Inquiry," SLC said in a statement.

"And in further consideration of the impact to the individual players, and their contribution to the national team, have decided unanimously to impose the following punitary measures on the said three players: A fine of Sri Lanka Rupees 10
Million for each player."

"A one year ban from all forms of international cricket and a six months ban from domestic cricket. 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," read the SLC release.

The cricketers first came under the scanner after a video emerged on social media showing them out in a public space in Durham.

(With OPTA inputs)

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Story first published: Saturday, July 31, 2021, 2:50 [IST]
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