ENG vs SL: Suspended Lankan cricketers could miss India series as SLC mulls longer ban in international cricket

ENG vs SL: Suspended Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis & Danushka Gunathilaka could miss India series as SLC mulls longer ban for the trio

ENG vs SL: Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis & Danushka Gunathilaka face longer ban – Three Sri Lankan cricketers who were suspended for breaching bio-bubbles during Sri Lanka Tour of England face up to 1-year ban as the SLC is seeking harsher punishment and could miss the limited-overs series against India. Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis & Danushka Gunathilaka were caught roaming on Durham streets at night, breaching strict hotel curfew. Following that, the three were asked to come back.

However, the ban could be longer as an SLC official hinted following the Senior Sports Minister’s demand of harsher punishment. “It could be anywhere between 3 months to 1 year,” a senior SLC official told Cricwire.

Also Read: ENG vs SL: SLC suspends three Lankan cricketers for breaching bio-bubble in Durham after embarrassing T20I series loss

ENG vs SL: The SLC official’s comments came after Sri Lanka’s Senior Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa called for harsher punishment against those violating Covid rules in the UK. As Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilake have been recalled before the ODI series, the three will face a disciplinary inquiry in Colombo upon their return to the island nation.

“Opportunity & time can be invested into youngsters to represent the country, in an attempt to revive #Srilanka cricket. However, playing with a lack of intent & poor discipline should not be tolerated. @OfficialSLC must take strict action against players who violate these rules!” Rajapaksa tweeted.

Furthermore, before the 1st ODI, England’s fast bowler Mark Wood said it was “disappointing and a shame for Sri Lanka”.

“It’s disappointing from them Sri Lanka. It’s a shame for the Sri Lanka players and their team. I don’t know what their team measures are, if they are more relaxed, as I only know what we have been told from our team point of view,” Mark Wood said mincing no words.

“We are going to have to make sure we are doubly on it now because little slips like this can put the whole thing in jeopardy. We have taken this very seriously in terms of appointing a Covid compliance officer who tells us everywhere we go what we can and can’t do. Durham is an area that is apparently quite high with the level of Covid so we have been told we couldn’t go to coffee shops or restaurants. We can go for a walk but are only allowed in certain places. We have had to be a bit more rigid with Durham being a hotspot,” Wood added. 

If Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilake receive a longer ban, they are all set to miss the limited-overs series against India slated to begin on July 13.

Also Read: Just before India tour, Sri Lanka Cricket in crisis as fans unfollow Lankan cricketers, experts slam them after humiliation in England

ENG vs SL: The three Lankan cricketers were caught on camera smoking in Durham on Sunday night by passersby who shared the video on social media platforms. In the video that was shot at around 11.30 PM on Sunday, Kusal Mendis was seen with a cigarette in his hand while not wearing a mask. Niroshan Dickwella was the other cricketer with him. Soon, Danushka Gunathilaka joined the two.

With the Kusal Perera-led side is under fire for poor performance and contract dispute with Sri Lankan Cricket board, the SLC immediately took action, suspending and recalling the trio.

Also Read: ENG vs SL: Match Referee Phil Whitticase tests positive for COVID-19, ECB rolls out new COVID guidelines

“Sri Lanka Cricket executive committee has suspended Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka & Niroshan Dickwella for breaching the bio-bubble and they will be immediately recalled to Sri Lanka,” SLC secretary Mohan De Silva said in a statement.

The decision to recall the players was taken by the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket, based on the ‘Manager’s Report’ on the matter.

ENG vs SL: The ENG vs Sri Lanka series has come under the scanner after ICC Match Referee Phil Whitticase for the 3rd T20I match tested positive for COVID-19. While no players from either side returned positive test, the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has been forced to replace the entire pool of match officials for the 1st ODI as many of them have been close contacts.