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Ban lifted! Danushka Gunathilaka now free to return to Sri Lanka Cricket Team

Ban lifted! Danushka Gunathilaka now free to return to Sri Lanka Cricket Team

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Tuesday lifted a ban imposed on Danushka Gunathilaka following a sexual assault charge in Australia, paving the way for the left-handed batter’s return to the national team. “…the Independent Inquiry Committee appointed by SLC, which was tasked with investigating into the impact of the criminal allegations against Mr. Danushka Gunathilaka […]

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Tuesday lifted a ban imposed on Danushka Gunathilaka following a sexual assault charge in Australia, paving the way for the left-handed batter’s return to the national team.

“…the Independent Inquiry Committee appointed by SLC, which was tasked with investigating into the impact of the criminal allegations against Mr. Danushka Gunathilaka in Australia, has recommended a full lifting of the ban imposed on him in November 2022 following Mr. Danushka Gunathilaka’s acquittal from all charges filed in the District Court of New South Wales and his return to Sri Lanka on 3rd October 2023,” a release said.

“He would now be able to return to national duty,” it added. In November 2022, the cricketer was charged for alleged sexual assault in Australia during his visit as a member of the Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup team. He was arrested after a woman accused him of sexual assault.

Insidesport

The 32-year-old cricketer was charged on four counts of rape, which were later dropped by the prosecution before trial and was also under travel restrictions for 11 months in Australia. Danushka Gunathilaka pleaded not guilty and faced a four-day long trial and was later acquitted of all charges filed against him in the District Court of New South Wales. He returned to Sri Lanka on October 3 this year.

“This suspension was pending the outcome of legal proceedings and was imposed considering the impact of his actions on the reputation of cricket and the country,” the SLC statement read.

“After careful evaluation of Mr. Danushka Gunathilaka’s exoneration and with due consideration to his cricketing career and its impact on the cricketing ambitions of the nation, the Inquiry Panel, headed by Retired High Court Judge, Sisira Ratnayake, Mr. Niroshana Perera, Attorney at Law and Mr. Asela Rekawa Attorney at Law, unanimously recommended an immediate lifting of his cricketing ban, allowing him to resume regular cricket activities and return to national duty.”

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