ENG vs SL: Mendis, Dickwella, Gunathilaka suspended for breaching bio-bubble
Sri Lanka cricketers Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka and Niroshan Dickwella have been suspended for breaching the bio-bubble in the UK. As per reports, the three cricketers are being sent back home immediately from Durham. The announcement came after a video, shared on Twitter, showed Mendis and Dickwella in the public domain, outside of the team bio-bubble. Here are further details.
The three Sri Lanka players are being sent back immediately from the tour of England. It has been learned that the upcoming ODI series will go ahead as planned. "SLC executive committee has suspended Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, and Niroshan Dickwella for breaching the bio- bubble and they will be immediately recalled to Sri Lanka," SLC secretary Mohan De Silva said in a statement.
A recent video that emerged on social media showed Mendis and Dickwella roam in a public place. Although Gunathilaka was not seen in the video, it is believed that the three had stepped out together. The players were particularly barred from going toward Durham's City Centre, however, the trio had visited the same place, according to SLC officials.
In the video, which was shot from a vehicle, Mendis and Dickwella are seen looking around the square. Both the players were carrying their masks, but none of them was wearing them. Notably, the players had returned to their rooms around midnight.
It is understood that the Sri Lankan board could impose severe penalties on the three players. Gunathilaka already has a history of poor behaviour. He was suspended for an indifferent attitude toward training in 2017, and also violated a curfew in the middle of a Test in 2018. Meanwhile, Mendis was arrested last year for running over a 64-year-old man in Panadura.
In another development, Phil Whitticase, the match referee who was officiating in the three-match T20I series between England and Sri Lanka, has tested positive for COVID-19. He remains asymptomatic and will now isolate for 10 days. The three-ODI series between the two sides is set to commence on June 29. England recently routed Sri Lanka 3-0 in the T20I series.