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Three SL cricketers banned for a year for violating Covid protocols

The three top order batsmen were also slapped with a six-month ban from domestic cricket

IANS | colombo |

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Friday slapped one year ban from international cricket on three national cricketers — Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella — who were found guilty of violating the Covid-19 safety guidelines during the team’s tour to England last month.

The three top order batsmen were also slapped with a six-month ban from domestic cricket. In addition, the SLC imposed a fine of 10 million Sri Lanka rupees (around $5,000) on each of the players.

Vice-captain Mendis, wicketkeeper-batsman Dickwella and opening batsman Gunathilaka were found to breach the bio-bubble during the England tour last month. The trio was seen roaming on the streets of Durham after the final T20 international on June 26, a video of which had gone viral.

The SLC had immediately suspended them and flown them back to Sri Lanka the following day. They were also prevented from playing in the limited overs series at home against India, which ended on Thursday.

The punishments were imposed following the recommendations made by an independent probe panel appointed by the SLC to look into the allegations of breaching Covid-19 safety guidelines, violating the instructions and regulations of the team management and putting the safety of their fellow team members in jeopardy.

The panel ruled that the three cricketers had violated the instructions and regulations of the team management with regard to team curfew by failing to reach their respective hotel rooms by 10.30 p.m., besides bringing disrepute to SLC and the country by such actions.

The executive committee of the SLC, which met on Friday, unanimously decided to carry out the punishments imposed by the probe panel.