Sri Lanka Cricket Suspends Gunathilaka Over Sex Allegations – DW – November 7, 2022

Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka was denied bail on Monday when he appeared via video link in a Sydney court on four counts of sexual assault.

His request for bail was heard in closed session, with no reporters present, after Judge Robert Williams granted a request by prosecutors to suppress details of the indictments and other elements of the case.

Gunathilaka appeared in handcuffs and only spoke to confirm his identity and to be able to listen to the proceedings, then the session resumed behind closed doors.

Gunathilaka’s lawyer, Ananda Amaranath, said her client was denied bail and “clearly will be disappointed.”

Separately, Sri Lanka Cricket said it had suspended the left-handed batsman from its national teams and would launch its own investigation.

When and why was Gunathilaka arrested?

The 31-year-old was arrested early on Sunday, just hours after his country lost to England in their final T20 World Cup match.

Police said her arrest preceded an investigation into an alleged sexual assault on a 29-year-old woman.

Gunathilaka was accused of quadruple sexual intercourse without consent. Police claimed the two communicated via a dating app for a few days before meeting, with the alleged incident taking place last Wednesday.

“The couple met in Sydney for a pre-arranged meeting. They had a drink and went out to eat before heading back to the girl’s house,” said Detective Superintendent Jayne Doherty of the state’s Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Unit. “Police will allege that while they were at her home, the man assaulted the woman on a couple of occasions while he was performing sexual acts on her.”

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What did the Sri Lankan cricket say?

The Sri Lankan national cricket federation announced on Monday that the 31-year-old has been suspended from all national team duties until further notice.

Sri Lanka Cricket said that Gunathilaka was “of all forms of [international] cricket effective immediately”.

“Furthermore, Sri Lanka Cricket will take the necessary steps to immediately conduct an investigation into the alleged offense and, following the conclusion of the aforementioned legal proceedings in Australia, take the necessary steps to sanction the player if found guilty.” he said in the statement.

The Cricket Panel said it wanted to emphasize its “zero tolerance” approach towards “any such conduct by a player” and pledged to “provide all necessary assistance to Australian law enforcement to conduct an impartial investigation into the incident”.

The 31-year-old left-hander has played almost 100 short One Day International and T20 matches for Sri Lanka, as well as eight longer friendly matches.

He was in Australia at the T20 Cricket World Cup where Sri Lanka was eliminated in the group stage. However, he was left out after arriving with a hamstring injury and was later chosen to remain in the roster.

In recent years he has faced a series of disciplinary measures ranging from skipping training sessions to insulting other players to breaching the team’s curfew during a 2018 series match against South Africa. The anti-curfew incident also included allegations that one of Gunathilaka’s friends raped a Norwegian woman in her presence, though Sri Lankan police later cleared Gunathilaka of wrongdoing.

msh/dj (AFP, AP, Reuters)

Source: www.dw.com

Author: Shariq Mir

This is Shariq Mir years of experience in the field of journalism, Shariq Mir heads the editorial operations of the Elite News as the Executive Producer.

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