UPDATE (5.05 p.m.) – Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) issued the following statement on the incident:
“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to inform that Vice-Captain Kusal Mendis, Wicket Keeper – Batsman Niroshan Dickwella, and Batsman Danushka Gunathilaka will be flown back to Sri Lanka, with immediate effect.
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.”
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided to suspend national team players Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka for breaching the bio-bubble during the England tour, sources told Ada Derana.
The source stated that SLC has decided to suspend the players pending an inquiry and also decided to recall them to Sri Lanka immediately.
The SLC is expected to initiate disciplinary action against three players, including vice-captain Kusal Mendis, after videos emerged appearing to show them breaching their bio-secure Covid bubble in England.
Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella were seen smoking in the streets of Durham, where they are based ahead of this week’s first one-day international at Chester-le-Street on Tuesday.
In a second video on social media, opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka is seen joining the pair, violating the coronavirus rules of their stay in England, where they are not allowed to roam freely.
Sri Lanka were swept 3-0 by England in the Twenty20 series that concluded on Saturday with the hosts cruising to a thumping 89-run victory in Southampton.
Disgruntled fans launched a campaign to shun the team on social media after they slumped to a dismal fifth consecutive Twenty20 series defeat.
The hashtag #unfollowcricketers began to trend on Facebook on Sunday as thousands of fans boycotted the social media pages of some players.
-With inputs from agencies
(Ada derana news)