In an unusual and uncompromising move during an ongoing Test, Sri Lanka have suspended their opener, Danushka Gunathilaka, from all international cricket for ‘misconduct’.
Without going into details, the Sri Lankan authorities announced that the 27-year-old opener will be barred pending the outcome of an investigation. The ban will take effect the moment Sri Lanka take the five wickets they need to complete a two-match series win over South Africa in Colombo, although how much fielding the opener will do remains to be seen. He had scored 57 and 61 in his two innings.
The player’s match fee for the second Test is also being withheld.
An SLC press release said, ‘The decision to suspend the player was taken following an initial inquiry conducted by Sri Lanka Cricket, after the team management reported that the player has violated the code of conduct.’
The offence, for now, is understood to be a breach of curfew during the Test against South Africa. There is a possibility that a further, more serious offence will come to light as well, which is what has prompted the strong action from SLC.
Gunathilaka has had a sequence of disciplinary issues in the recent past. In January this year, he had been officially reprimanded for giving Bangladesh batsman Tamim Iqbal a send-off in a T20 match.
Last year, Gunathilaka had been suspended for six white-ball matches for misconduct for missing a training session, turning up for a match without his gear, and was being found to have had an indifferent attitude towards training.
Photo: Isuru Sameera Peiris/AFP/Gallo Images