Colombo: Sri Lankans remained in shock on Monday after learning that national cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka has been arrested in Australia on charges of sexual assault during the T20 World Cup.
The incident has brought much disgrace to Sri Lanka Cricket, which continued with Danushka’s selection despite the cricketer facing an alleged dark past, the Daily Mirror said.
According to Deputy Superintendant Jane Doherty, Australia’s Sex Crimes Squad Commander, Danushka met a female on the dating app and the two had been chatting for weeks.
On Wednesday night, the two for the first time met at the Opera bar in Sydney although Danushka was well aware he had a commitment with the national cricket team.
The couple decided to return to the female’s house in Rosebay for consensual sex. But when the victim had allegedly requested Danushka to wear a condom he had refused. When asked, the cricketer allegedly choked his 29-year-old victim after arguments and sexually assaulted her.
The Australian police nabbed Danushka on Saturday night just as the team was preparing to leave Australia on an early morning flight to return back home. He was produced before an Australian court where his bail was rejected.
The Mirror said that this is not the first time that Danushka has faced disciplinary charges.
It quoted sources within the Sri Lanka Cricket as saying that in the past two years, Danushka has faced at least three allegations of misconduct vis-a-vis females and one incident of misbehaviour where he along with two other players broke the bio bubble during a tour in England.
In one instance, when the cricketer visited a nightclub in Sri Lanka, he made advances on a female who moved away after slapping the cricketer on the face.
In 2018, the SLC slapped a six-match ban on the batsman for breaching player rules as police investigated the alleged rape of a Norwegian woman in his hotel room in Kollupitiya.
This incident in 2018 was just months after he faced another disciplinary inquiry in October 2017 where he missed a training session following late-night partying.
“Sources in the sports industry said a player with so many allegations should have faced a ban for life but questions now arise as to why Danushka was continuously selected and even sent for tours,” the daily said.