Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has suspended Danushka Gunathilaka from all forms of cricket with immediate effect after he was arrested in Sydney on Sunday over rape charges at the ongoing T20 World Cup.
In an official statement, SLC said, “The Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket decided to suspend national player Danushka Gunathilaka from all forms of cricket with immediate effect and will not consider him for any selections after being informed that Mr. Gunathilaka was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a woman in Australia.
“Furthermore, Sri Lanka Cricket 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 penalise the said 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,” it further read.
Gunathilaka was communicating with a woman via the online dating app Tinder, and he allegedly sexually assaulted her after they met. The Sri Lankan cricketer was subsequently arrested, and he attended court via a video link. The bail hearing took place at the Downing Centre court in Sydney.
Defence attorney Ananda Amaranath did not immediately respond to the bail request made by Gunathilaka’s lawyer.
Gunathilaka was part of the 15-member Sri Lanka squad at the 2022 T20 World Cup and even played their Round 1 match against Namibia in Geelong. However, he was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament due to injury.