CricketSLC appoints 3-member panel to probe Danushka Gunathilaka case
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SLC appoints 3-member panel to probe Danushka Gunathilaka case

Just a day after Sri Lanka Cricket board suspended its cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka from “all forms of cricket” following his arrest in Sydney on Sunday for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman, the SLC appointed a three-member panel to investigate the matter.

Gunathilaka was arrested in Sydney over alleged charges of rape on Sunday morning. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the arrest was made from the team hotel in Sydney’s central business district in connection with an alleged sexual abuse complaint of a 29-year-old woman. The sexual assault was reported at a property in Rose Bay earlier in the week.

The team manager will be questioned right away by the panel regarding the behaviour of the cricket player and the course of events.

“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce the appointment of a 3-member investigation panel consisting of Justice Sisira Ratnayake (Retired High Court Judge), Mr. Niroshana Perera, Attorney-at-Law, and Mr. Asela Rekawa, Attorney-at-Law, to initiate an inquiry into the alleged incident involving player Danushka Gunathilaka,” SLC said in an official statement.

“The committee will also focus the inquiry on various alleged incidents that have come to the attention of Sri Lanka Cricket and that are said to have allegedly taken place during the national team’s stay in Australia,” it further read.

“The panel in this process will call for an immediate explanation from the Team Manager pertaining to his conduct, with references to the occurrence of such incidents.

Upon submission of the said report by the Panel, the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket will take stern disciplinary action against the players and or officials if proven any wrongdoing or negligence when carrying out official duties,” the statement further read.

“The woman met with the man after communicating with him for a number of days via an online dating application; it’s alleged he then sexually assaulted her on the evening of November 2, 2022.

As part of ongoing investigations, a crime scene examination was undertaken by specialist police at an address in Rose Bay yesterday.

Following further inquiries, a 31-year-old man was arrested at a hotel on Sussex Street, Sydney, shortly before 1 am today (Sunday, November 6, 2022),” said a New South Wales police statement as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

Earlier, Gunathilaka was refused bail after the hearing at a local court here at Sydney on Monday. According to a report in ‘Sydney Morning Herald’, Gunathilaka appeared via video link in Downing Centre Local Court on Monday from Surry Hills cells. He was handcuffed and wearing a grey T-shirt, blue jeans and thongs, as his lawyer Ananda Amaranath made a bail application.

Due to a hamstring injury, Gunathilaka was forced to withdraw from the T20 World Cup in the preliminary round. He was replaced in the lineup but stayed in Australia with the team. Since making his debut in November 2015, he has played for Sri Lanka in eight Tests, 47 ODIs, and 46 T20Is.