Sri Lanka have suspended Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka and Niroshan Dickwella and have sent the trio back home after all three cricketers were found guilty of flouting COVID norms in Durham. SLC vice-president Mohan de Silva confirmed that the players ‘confessed’ that they went out.
Sri Lanka have been dealt a body blow on the eve of their first ODI against England, as three first XI players, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka and Niroshan Dickwella, have been suspended for flouting Covid norms. Earlier in the day, fan footage emerged of Mendis and Dickwella hanging out in the streets of Durham - thereby violating Covid protocols - and the video led to SLC stating that an investigation would be launched.
The investigation is still pending, but the Lankan board have suspended all three cricketers after the trio confessed that they broke the rules.
"The players have been suspended pending a full inquiry, but have confessed to having gone out," SLC vice-president Mohan de Silva was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.
"They are being recalled from the tour with immediate effect."
Familiar faces in Durham tonight, enjoying their tour! Obviously not here to play cricket, this video was taken at 23.28 Sunday. Disappointing performance by these cricket players but not forgetting to enjoy their night at Durham. RIP #SrilankaCricket #KusalMendis #ENGvSL pic.twitter.com/eR15CWHMQx— Nazeer Nisthar (@NazeerNisthar) June 28, 2021
Gunathilaka, Mendis and Dickwella featured in the T20I series which Sri Lanka lost 3-0, and all three players are an integral part of the ODI side. The three members were part of the ODI side that lost 2-1 to Bangladesh last month, and incidentally featured in the last ODI the Lankans played (against Bangladesh), which they won by a 97-run margin.