Inside Story

Can Play after paying fine and Sports Minister’s Consent: SLC on Banned Kusal Mendis, Dickwela, Danushka Gunathilika’s domestic cricket return

Written by Sumit Seth

The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Tuesday propsed that banned top order batsmen Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilika and Niroshan Dickwella can participate in the upcoming domestic cricket season and Lanka Premier League (LPL) after paying approximately 10 million fine and getting country’s Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa’s consent, Cricket Age exclusively learns.

The matter was discussed during board’s Management Committee (MC) meeting today. Now, it will be tabled before board’s Executive Committee (ExCo).

Mendis, another Singhalese Sports Club (SSC) cricketer Gunathilaka and Dickwella from NCC, were suspended from all forms of international cricket along with a six-month suspension from domestic cricket, after they were caught on camera on the streets of Durham during the limited-overs series, which was a bio-bubble breach. Eventually, they were sent back home midway.

The players are said to have appealed against their suspension to SLC . The board, in reply, directed them for counselling for three months before taking a decision whether to reduce the suspension.

“Considering their counselling report, the management committee decided to allow them to resume their domestic cricket. Though, for that, they will have to the fine and also we will get Honorable Sports Minister consent and our Executive Committee (ExCo) ratification on the matter” a top SLC official told Cricket Age.

They had also faced a disciplinary committee headed by a retired judge, which recommended two-year bans for Mendis and Gunathilaka along with 18-month sanction for Dickwella.

However, the SLC committee decided to ban them from international cricket for one year and six months from domestic cricket. There will also be suspended sentence of one year which will be valid for two years provided there is another transgression from the players.

Sri Lanka’s domestic cricket season is scheduled to begin from October 27, with 50 overs tournament.

About the author

Sumit Seth