England vs Sri Lanka: Kusal Mendis, Dickwella and Gunathilaka suspended for bio-bubble breach, to miss ODI series
The three cricketers to be sent home immediately from Durham.
Updated - Jun 28, 2021 4:01 pm
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided to suspend three cricketers – Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka – for breaching the bio-bubble protocols during their stay in the UK. A video of Mendis and Dickwella spending time out of the bubble in Durham went viral on Monday and it has also been understood that the opening batsman Gunathilaka was also accompanying them.
Moreover, the three players are also being sent back home immediately from Durham now. This means will miss the three-match ODI series against England starting from June 29. SLC secretary Mohan De Silva, on Monday, confirmed the news of the cricketers being recalled to home and also stated that the investigation is underway into the matter at the moment.
“Sri Lanka Cricket executive committee has suspended Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka & Niroshan Dickwella for breaching the bio- bubble and they will be immediately recalled to Sri Lanka. An investigation is underway as they have breached the (code of) conduct,” he said in a statement according to Cricbuzz.
Familiar faces in Durham tonight, enjoying their tour! Obviously not here to play cricket, this video was taken at 23.28 Sunday. Disappointing performance by these cricket players but not forgetting to enjoy their night at Durham. RIP #SrilankaCricket #KusalMendis #ENGvSL pic.twitter.com/eR15CWHMQx
— Nazeer Nisthar (@NazeerNisthar) June 28, 2021
Sri Lanka short on experience for the ODI series
Earlier, Sri Lanka were whitewashed comprehensively in the three-match T20I series. The team’s performance was already under the scanner and this bio-bubble has only worsened the situation. The pressure on the visitors is immense currently to do well in the ODI series and suspension of three of the best players in the squad has weakened the team further.
To make things worse, another opener Avishka Fernando has also been ruled out of the three ODIs with a grade two tear to his quadriceps. He got injured while fielding during the second T20I in Cardiff and also missed the final game of the series. With three preferred top-order batsmen unavailable now, the likes of Oshada Feranando and Pathum Nissanka are expected to get their chance.
Sri Lanka are currently ranked ninth in the 50-over format and they have also lost their last six ODIs against the home side. All the odds are against the Kusal Perera-led side and all eyes will be on them when they take the field in the opening ODI on Tuesday.