The three Sri Lankan players who were found guilty of breaching the bio-bubble in England can face a strict ban for up to two years. A panel was set up and a detailed investigation was carried out to find the root cause of the matter. Vice-captain Kusal Mendis, opening batter Danushka Gunathilaka and wicketkeeper-batter Niroshan Dickwella were the three players who were found breaking the COVID-19 protocols during the team’s limited-overs series of England.
The five-member panel came hard down at the Gunathilaka and Mendis and felt the duo should be barred by playing any form of cricket for up to two years. While Dickwella who was also seen partying with the two players was recommended a ban for 18 months. Apart from imposing a ban, the five-member panel also said the trio should be heavily fined $25,000 (£17890) each. A final decision will be taken by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board after considering the panel members' verdict.
“These recommendations now go to the executive committee of the board which will take a final decision,” one official said on the condition of anonymity to EasternEye.
After SLC found out the players breached the bio-bubble in Durham, they were immediately sent to Sri Lanka and were suspended until further notice. Just ahead of their 50-over game against England, Dickwella and Mendis were seen smoking in the streets of Durham, and later in the second video, the duo was joined by Gunathilaka. All three players violated the COVID-19 norms and went out of the bio-secure environment.
The trio’s irresponsible behaviour didn’t go too well with the Sri Lankan fans as they launched a campaign on social media and blocked the players' account.