Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced on Tuesday that they have officially lifted the ban on cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka, weeks after he was cleared of sexual assault charges by a court in Australia.
Danushka Gunathilaka, a 32-year-old batsman, was arrested in November of the previous year just hours after Sri Lanka’s final Twenty20 World Cup match against England in Australia. However, following his acquittal in September, he returned home with enthusiasm, expressing his eagerness to resume playing cricket.
While Gunathilaka was still subject to disciplinary proceedings from SLC, the board declared on Tuesday that he is now free to return to the game.
A committee that was investigating his conduct “unanimously recommended an immediate lifting of his cricketing ban, allowing him to resume regular cricket activities and return to national duty,” according to a statement from SLC. The statement also noted that the committee had cautioned Mr. Gunathilaka to always uphold his status as a representative of the nation in all his future actions.
Initially, Danushka Gunathilaka had been accused of four counts of sexual intercourse without consent, stemming from an encounter with a woman he had met at a bar near the Sydney Opera House through a dating app.
Prosecutors argued that he removed a condom during sex without informing the woman, who had only consented to protected sex, as reported by the Australian public broadcaster ABC.
SLC had suspended him after the charges were filed. However, in May, three of the four charges against him were dropped, and he was subsequently found not guilty of the fourth charge.
Danushka Gunathilaka made his international debut in 2015 and has since played eight Tests, 47 ODIs, and 46 T20Is. Across formats, he has accumulated a total of 2641 runs, showcasing his skills and contributions to the game.