Sri Lanka cricket (SLC) has taken a strong step against hitter Danushka Gunathilaka who has been arrested by Sydney Police for sexual assault. The Lanka Cricket Board on Monday issued an official statement, mandating a suspension of Gunathilaka from all forms of cricket with immediate effect. The Board of Directors also confirmed that all necessary steps are taken to conduct an investigation into the matter, and the hitter will be punished if proven guilty.
“The Sri Lanka Cricket Executive Committee has decided to suspend national player Danushka Junathilaka from all forms of cricket with immediate effect and will not consider him for any options after being informed that Mr. Junathilaka has been arrested and charged with sexual assault of a woman in Australia,” the SLC statement reads.
The ExCo of SLC has decided to suspend national player Danushka Gunathilaka from all forms of cricket with immediate effect and will not consider him for any selections. Read 👇https://t.co/0qp6lNVEoH
– Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (OfficialSLC) November 7 2022
“Moreover, Sri Lanka Cricket will take the necessary steps to conduct a prompt investigation into the alleged offense and upon completion of the above-mentioned court case in Australia, steps will be taken to punish the said player if found guilty.
Sri Lanka Cricket would like to emphasize that it has a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for any such behavior by any player and will provide all required support to Australian law enforcement authorities to conduct an impartial investigation into the incident. .
A report in the Daily Mail on Monday said Jonathilaka was moments away from leaving for the airport to head home when he was pulled off the team bus and arrested by police.
According to the New South Wales Police Department, the 31-year-old Sri Lankan cricketer had been in contact with a woman for a few days “via an online dating app before they met in person”. The latest report stated that he had been in contact with the woman on Tinder before sexually assaulting her on the evening of November 2.
Jonathilaka, who spent Sunday night behind bars, has reportedly applied for bail in Sydney court. He faces four counts of rape.
Defense attorney Jonathilaka Ananda Amaranath was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph: “He was hoping the case would go to court on Sunday, so he is disappointed that it didn’t, but he still stood up just fine.”
He added, “He is very worried about what will happen if he cannot return to Sri Lanka… These are serious charges and it may take a year or more for that to be completed, so he is very worried about that as well.”
(with agency input)