6-match ban for Sri Lanka opener Gunathilaka

Danushka Gunathilaka (AP)
Danushka Gunathilaka (AP)

Colombo - Sri Lanka's cricket board on Friday slapped a six-match ban on batsman Danushka Gunathilaka for breaching player rules as police investigated the alleged rape of a Norwegian woman in his hotel room.

Gunathilaka, 27, was questioned by police on Tuesday after his associate Sandeep Jude Selliah, 26, was accused of raping one of two Norwegian women with them in a room at the team hotel.

Police said Gunathilaka was not an accused, but a cricket board hearing found him guilty of breaching team discipline and violating his contract.

The incident is said to have happened in the early hours of Sunday just before Sri Lanka completed a Test win over South Africa.

SLC rules stipulate that during matches players must be in their hotel rooms by midnight and cannot have guests.

"Sri Lanka Cricket decided to suspend Danushka Gunathilaka from six international cricket matches for breaching the ‘Player Code of Conduct and Contractual Obligation’," said a board statement.

Gunathilaka will now miss five one-day internationals starting on Sunday against South Africa and a one-off T20 match. 

He had already been excluded from Sri Lanka's ODI squad pending the disciplinary hearing. Gunathilaka was already on probation for another transgression when the new charges were slapped over his conduct at the weekend.

The six-match ban takes into consideration a misconduct offence in October last year. Local media said that punishment came after he missed a training session following late-night partying.

Sri Lanka Cricket said he will forfeit his match fee for the second Test against South Africa and any other bonus payments for winning the two match series.

Gunathilaka and Selliah were with two Norwegian women at the team hotel in Colombo during the second Test. One woman later accused the Selliah, a British passport-holder of Sri Lankan origin, of raping her. He was later arrested by police.

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