The trio of Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka, who had reportedly breached bio-bubble protocols during their tour of England, were set to face a disciplinary inquiry on Thursday. After all three of them had been called back to Sri Lanka immediately after they were caught, the big question has been regarding the punishment that they will have to face for their actions.
SLC had appointed 5-member panel to address the matter, which was headed by Nimal Dissanayaka, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. Although all the three players had submitted their written apology to the disciplinary committee ahead of the hearing, it was always going to be a tricky decision.
Shocking verdict for the Sri Lankan trio by the panel
The earlier reports had suggested that the three players could face a ban ranging from 3 months to 12 months since it was a disciplinary breach by them. Apart from putting the health and safety of their teammates at risk, they also put the series in trouble. The current COVID-19 protocols need to be taken very seriously by the players and to re-establish this fact, a landmark judgement was announced to set up an example for other players.
As per Hiru News, after the hearing and the case presented on Thursday, the 5-member panel came up with the following recommendations:
Dhanuska Gunathilaka - 24 month-ban
Kusal Mendis - 24 month-ban
Niroshan Dickwella - 18 month-ban
Notably, the ban will see them ruled out from all forms of competitive cricket - Local, National and International matches. In addition, all three of them have also been asked to pay $25,000 (INR 18.5 Lakhs) as fine for their actions.
Is the decision by disciplinary committee final?
It must be noted that the decision taken this afternoon by the disciplinary committee requires to be ratified by the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Executive Committee for it to be finalized. While the trio would be hoping the national board to come to their rescue, it is very likely that SLC will agree to the recommendations suggested by the panel which will also see the three key players missing out on the upcoming T20 World Cup.