Sri Lanka Cricket’s problem child

Tuesday, 8 November 2022 00:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Danushka Gunathilaka


  • Danuskha Gunathilaka refused bail, will remain in Police custody
  • Case adjourned till January
  • SLC suspends Gunathilaka from all forms of cricket


Lawyer Ananda Amaranath


SYDNEY: Danushka Gunathilaka, a member of Sri Lanka’s squad for the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Sydney was refused bail and will remain in New South Wales police custody.

The 31-year-old cricketer was arrested at his Sydney CBD hotel in the early hours of Sunday prior to the Sri Lanka cricket team’s departure to Colombo, and held in custody at Surry Hills police station.

Gunathilaka appeared by video link in handcuffs at Downing Centre Local Court yesterday wearing a grey T-shirt to seek bail after he was charged with four counts of sexual assault.

Australia’s Channel Nine reported that the cricketer’s bail application was delayed yesterday morning after the police prosecuted and applied to the court to have the bail application heard in a closed court ensuring that none of the alleged facts would be made public.

Gunathilaka listened to the proceedings in handcuffs seated in a room at the city police centre.

Police in the end were successful with their application and Gunathilaka faces four counts of sexual assault without consent.

Bail was also denied and the case has been adjourned until January. Outside the court the lawyer appearing for Gunathilaka, Ananda Amaranath said that he was disappointed and that he would now go to the Supreme Court and apply for bail.

“We put our decision to the court, there was no acceptable risk, but the court disagreed with it. So, we have to accept the decision.”

Gunathilaka has been holding up well in police custody, Amaranath told the media outside court.

“He has the full support of the Sri Lankan High Commissioner and the Sri Lankan Cricket Board. So, he is okay,” the lawyer said.

Gunathilaka had met the 29-year-old Sydney woman and they have been in communication for several days including communicating via video calls before they went on a date on Wednesday.

New South Wales Police allege: “They had drinks and had something to eat before going back to the young lady’s home. Police allege that in the home, the male assaulted the female a number of times, was performing sexual acts on her. It’s a series of acts over a couple of hours, quite four separate sexual acts.”

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket in a media release stated that the Executive Committee had decided to suspend Gunathilaka from all forms of cricket with immediate effect and will not consider him for any selections after being informed that the player was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a woman in Australia.

The statement added: “Furthermore, Sri Lanka Cricket will take the necessary steps to promptly carry out an inquiry into the alleged offense, and, upon conclusion of the aforementioned court case in Australia, steps will be taken to penalise the said player if found guilty.”

Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to emphasise that it adopts a “zero tolerance” policy for any such conduct by a player and will provide all the required support to the Australian law enforcement authorities to carry out an impartial inquiry into the incident.”

Gunathilaka played in only one match of the T20 World Cup, the opening first round game against Namibia which Sri Lanka lost at Geelong before being laid down by a hamstring injury. But he remained in the squad as a standby player.

“The decision was taken by the team management in consultation with the doctors and selectors, as Gunathilaka was fast recovering from the injury he suffered. Hence, it was decided to keep the player with the team, as he had already acclimatised to the climatic conditions in Australia, and can continue to train with the squad with a view to immediately drafting him back into the 15-member squad should the need arise,” the SLC said in a statement.


Danushka Gunathilaka’s disciplinary issues