Media Release 17th October 2023
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) wishes to announce that the Independent Inquiry Committee appointed by SLC, which was tasked with investigating into the impact of the criminal allegations against Mr. Danishka Gunathilaka in Australia, has recommended a full lifting of the ban imposed on him in November 2022 following Mr. Gunathilaka’s acquittal from all charges filed in the District Court of New South Wales and his return to Sri Lanka on 3rd October 2023.
In November 2022, the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket suspended Mr. Danishka Gunathilaka from all cricket activities upon learning of his arrest and charges related to alleged sexual assault in Australia during his travel as a member of the National team for the T20 World Cup 2022. This suspension was pending the outcome of legal proceedings and was imposed considering the impact of his actions on the reputation of cricket and the country.
Mr. Gunathilaka, who was under travel restriction in Australia for the past 11 months, faced a full trial in the District Court of New South Wales, Australia, where he was acquitted of the single charge levelled against him. Other charges under which he was initially arrested were dropped by the Prosecution prior to trial.
After careful evaluation of Mr. Gunathilaka’s exoneration and with due consideration to his cricketing career and its impact on the cricketing ambitions of the nation, the Inquiry Panel, headed by Retired High Court Judge, Sisira Ratnayake, Mr. Niroshana Perera, Attorney at Law and Mr. Asela Rekawa Attorney at Law, unanimously recommended an immediate lifting of his cricketing ban, allowing him to resume regular cricket activities and return to national duty.
The Executive Committee of the SLC, at its meeting held on 13th October 2023, has ratified this recommendation. They have also cautioned Mr. Gunathilaka to always uphold his status as a representative of the nation in all his future actions.