SL vs ENG: Sri Lanka cricketers Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka and Niroshan Dickwella have been expelled from their ongoing England tour and will be sent back home after breaching the bio-secure bubble on Sunday.
Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Mendis, who were part of the playing XI of the final match of the T20I series, which the team lost comprehensively by 89 runs, were allegedly found roaming the streets in Durham on Sunday night. A purported video of them went viral, following which the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) launched an investigation on the players. Although Gunathilaka was not seen in the video, it is believed that he was also in their company and all the three stepped out together. Furthermore, even though the players carried their masks, they were seen not wearing them.
“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to inform that vice-captain Kusal Mendis, wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, and batsman Danushka Gunathilaka will be flown back to Sri Lanka, with immediate effect,” the SLC said in a statement on Monday (June 28). “This decision was taken following a preliminary inquiry conducted over a Video posted on Social Media in which the said three players can be seen outside their designated hotel.
“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. The three players will be suspended, from all forms of cricket, until the completion of the inquiry,” SLC added.
This comes as a huge blow to the Sri Lanka team as they are now short of four key players of the team, as earlier, Sri Lanka batsman Avishka Fernando also got sidelined from the ODIs against England with a grade two tear to his quadriceps. He picked up the injury while fielding in the second T20I in Cardiff.
Following a whitewash in the three-match T20I series against England, Sri Lanka will face the hosts in a three-match ODI series starting tomorrow at Chester le Street.
SL vs ENG ODI Series Fixtures
1st ODI: England v Sri Lanka, Tuesday 29 June 2021, Emirates Riverside, Durham (11.00am BST)
2nd ODI: England v Sri Lanka, Thursday 1 July 2021, Kia Oval, London (1.00pm BST)
3rd ODI: England v Sri Lanka, Sunday 4 July 2021, County Ground, Bristol (11.00am BST)
SRI LANKA SQUAD:
Kusal Perera (c), Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Oshada Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Chamika Karunaratne, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Isuru Udana, Binura Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Shiran Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Asitha Fernando and Ishan Jayaratne.
ENGLAND SQUAD – Eoin Morgan (Middlesex) Captain, Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Sam Billings (Kent), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Tom Curran (Surrey), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), George Garton (Sussex), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), David Willey (Yorkshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham)