Danushka Gunathilaka was given a reprieve by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) when they revised the suspension slapped on the batsman after considering an appeal made by the Sinhalese Sports Club.
Gunathilaka’s ban was reduced from six to three international matches, SLC confirmed on Tuesday (October 17). It was, however, also announced that if Gunathilaka breached the SLC code of conduct for player behaviour again over the next one year, he would be banned for another three matches.
Serving a six-match ban for misconduct during the One-Day International series against India, Gunathilaka was not picked in the squad for the series against Pakistan. The reason, according to unconfirmed reports, was that Gunathilaka had skipped training, thereby angering Asanka Gurusinha, the team manager.
The former Sri Lankan batsman is said to have complained to SLC, who for their part kicked off an investigation into the matter before deciding to penalise Gunathilaka.
Gunathilaka was also fined 20% of his annual contract fee for violating the board’s constitution as well as the terms of his contract.
Gunathilaka’s absence added to Sri Lanka’s woes during the series against India where the home side lost all nine international matches – he took part in only one Test and two One-Day Internationals.
In the United Arab Emirates after that, Sri Lanka put on a fine show to sweep Pakistan 2-0 in the Tests, but they have left a lot to be desired in the five-match ODI series, which they trailed 2-0 after losing the second game on Monday. After the completion of the ODI series, the teams will lock horns in three T20Is, the last of which will be played in Lahore.
It’s likely that Gunathilaka will return to the side for the T20Is, and with some senior Sri Lankan players unhappy about travelling to Lahore, Gunathilaka’s return will come as good news for the team.