Australia v Sri Lanka T20Is - Men
Sri Lanka ban trio over bubble breach
Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka, sent home from an England tour for a bio-secure bubble breach, have each received a one-year ban
31 July 2021, 07:33 AM AEST
Sri Lanka cricket officials have banned three national team players from international cricket for one year and fined them $US50,000 ($A68,000) each for breaching a bio-secure bubble during the recent tour of England.
Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella and batsmen Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka were sent home from England last month after video on social media showed them on the streets of Durham at night.
The players were also handed a six-month ban from domestic cricket, Sri Lanka Cricket said on Friday.
They were put on probation for two years, at risk of another year-long ban.
The players also have to undergo mandatory counselling by a doctor recommended by SLC.
An independent panel commissioned by SLC to review the incident had recommended full two-year bans for Gunathilaka and Mendis, who were deemed to have priors, and an 18-month suspension for Dickwella.
Sri Lanka suffered heavy defeats in England in their absence, but recently completed a home T20 series win against a depleted India side.
Sri Lanka are scheduled to play a five-match T20 series against Australia in February.
But the trio will be a significant loss to the national team. Gunathilaka is one of Sri Lanka's top white-ball openers, while Dickwella was the Test team's first-choice wicketkeeper and looking to push into the limited-overs formats. And Mendis, having endured a lean patch of form, was again back in the national fold.
Gunathilaka will be 31 when his ban expires, while Dickwella will be 29, and Mendis 27.
The sanctions were for breaching the COVID-19 safety guidelines, and thereby risking their safety, and the safety of other team members and others involved in the series.
The three were also found guilty of breaching a team curfew of 10.30pm and bringing disrepute to Sri Lanka cricket and the country, the board statement said.
Dettol Men's T20 Series v Sri Lanka
Feb 11: First T20, SCG
Feb 13: Second T20, The Gabba
Feb 15: Third T20, Metricon Stadium
Feb 18: Fourth T20, Adelaide Oval
Feb 20: Fifth T20, MCG