Sri Lanka Cricket has lifted the one-year ban, to play international cricket, on three senior national cricketers, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, and Niroshan Dickwella for breaching the Covid-19 protocols during a tour in England in June last year.
Sri Lanka Cricket Executive Committee has decided to lift the ban on the three players with effect from Friday (January 7). They would also be able to play the upcoming ODI series against Zimbabwe provided they achieve the fitness standards.
Earlier on Friday, it was reported that they had been recalled for a fitness test conducted for the squad scheduled to be selected for the upcoming three ODI series against Zimbabwe on January 16, 18, and 21 at Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. Following Zimbabwe, they will also be able to play against Australia, India and Bangladesh which are scheduled for this year.
However, Dhanuska Gunatillake on Friday announced his decision to retire from Test cricket with plans to fully concentrate on the white-ball format of the game.
In July last year, SLC Executive Committee imposed a one-year ban for international on the three cricketers and six months ban on domestic games. They have also imposed a fine of Sri Lankan Rs. 10 million for each.
A disciplinary inquiry was initiated after the three players who were on the streets of Durham during the limited-overs series, which was a bio-bubble breach, were caught on a camera by a Sri Lankan in Britain. The video, which was released to social media, went viral and the SLC immediately called the three cricketers home and they were suspended.
SLC had charged them for “putting in jeopardy the safety of players by breaching Covid-19 safety guidelines, including instructions of the team management”. They were also charged for breaking the team curfew of being in their hotel rooms by 10:30 pm and last but not least was “bringing disrepute to the country and cricket board”.