Bubble-breaching Lankan trio slapped with year-long bans

Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, and Niroshan Dickwella have all been suspended from international cricket for a year on the grounds of violating Sri Lanka’s bio-bubble on a night out in Durham last month, according to ESPNCricinfo. In addition, they have each also been fined 10 million rupees (USD 50,000 approx), and will not be allowed to play domestic cricket for six months, which all but rules them out of the upcoming season.

Moreover, the guilty trio will be on probation for two further years, during which another the axe of another year’s suspension will dangle over their heads. The Sri Lankan Cricket organization has mandated counselling with a doctor recommended by the board as well, the report added.

The three players are being meted out harsh punishments partly because of the public reprisal against their reckless actions. Had it not been for actual footage, captured by the general public and posted on social media, Sri Lanka’s medical staff would have been unbeknownst to their players’ meanderings.

Although much shorter than those recommended by the independent panel commissioned to probe the incident, the suspensions come as a punch in the gut for a beleaguered Sri Lankan outfit. Dickwella was their frontline wicketkeeper in Tests, and was on the fringes of the limited-overs teams. Gunathilaka opened the batting for Sri Lanka’s in white-ball cricket, while Kusal Mendis has been a regular feature in the middle-order for quite some time now.

Gunathilaka will be 31 before he is eligible to play for Sri Lanka again. Dickwella will be 29, and Mendis 27.