SLC rejects the appeal of Kusal, Dhanushka and Niroshan

Sunday, 26 September 2021 - 16:51

Sri Lanka Cricket has rejected the appeal submitted by Kusal Mendis, Danushka Goonetileke and Niroshan Dickwella against their ban.

SLC rejected the appeal without any hearing.

Kusal Mendis, Danushka Goonetileke and Niroshan Dickwell were suspended for misconduct during the tour of England.

The Sri Lanka Cricket authorities have advised the players that the opportunity to participate in the Lanka Premier League Cricket Tournament in December would be considered if they get on to the correct track on the advice of their psychiatrists.

Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, and Niroshan Dickwella were suspended from international cricket for a year for breaking Sri Lanka's bio-bubble on a night out in Durham last month. They have each also been fined 10 million rupees (USD 50,000 approx), and will not be allowed to play domestic cricket for six months, which ruled them out for much of the season.

In addition, they will be in probation for two further years, during which another year's suspension will hang over their heads. SLC has mandated counselling with a doctor recommended by the board as well..

A video emerged showing Mendis and Dickwella out in a public place. Gunathilaka was not seen in the video, but the three are believed to have stepped out together. The touring players had been categorically told that they were not allowed to go towards Durham's City Centre, but that is exactly where the trio have admitted to have gone, according to SLC officials. In the video, shot from a vehicle, Mendis and Dickwella are seen looking around the square. Although both players have their masks handy, neither is wearing them. The three were flown home immediately from the tour of England.

The suspensions were shorter than those recommended by the independent panel that had been commissioned to inquire into the the incident. That committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Nimal Dissanayaka, had recommended two-year suspensions for Gunathilaka and Mendis, who were deemed to have priors, and an 18-month suspension for Dickwella.

Despite Gunathilaka having served two previous suspensions, and although Mendis had caused the death of a pedestrian while driving last year, the board opted to hand them the same sentence as the one imposed on Dickwella, who had no prior disciplinary breaches. Although the international suspensions are shorter than the inquirers had recommended, the fines were understood to be twice what were suggested.

In addition to breaching the bubble, the cricketers were found guilty of violating the team's curfew, which was 10:30pm, and "bringing disrepute to Sri Lanka Cricket and the country".