Colombo, Nov 6 (IANS) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) confirmed on Sunday morning that they had been notified by the International Cricket Council (ICC) about the arrest of their 31-year-old left-hand batter Danushka Gunathilaka in Sydney on the allegations of sexual assault of a woman.
The country’s cricket governing body added it will “closely monitor” the court’s proceedings and “expeditiously initiate a thorough inquiry” into the matter.
“Sri Lanka Cricket confirms that it was notified by the ICC that player Danushka Gunathilaka has been arrested on the allegations of sexual assault of a woman in Sydney, and Mr. Gunathilaka is due to appear in court tomorrow (November 7, 2022). SLC will closely monitor the proceedings in court and, in consultation with the ICC, will expeditiously initiate a thorough inquiry into the matter and take stern action against the player if found guilty,” said a statement from SLC.
Gunathilaka, a member of the side for the ICC T20 World Cup, was charged after he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, according to Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday. The report said Gunathilaka was arrested on Sunday morning for his alleged sexual assault “of a 29-year-old woman in Rose Bay earlier this week”.
Gunathilaka, who was ruled out of the World Cup in the first round itself with a hamstring injury, was replaced in the squad. The 31-year-old, who has played eight Tests, 47 ODIs and 46 T20Is, however remained with the side during its campaign.
According to the report, Gunathilaka was communicating with a woman for a few days “via an online dating app before they met in person”. He then allegedly sexually assaulted the woman on the evening of November 2.
The cricketer was arrested at a hotel on Sussex Street, Sydney in the early hours of Sunday and taken to the Sydney City Police Station and charged with “four counts of sexual intercourse without consent”.
He was refused bail and will appear at the Parramatta Bail Court via an audio-visual link on Sunday.
The New South Wales Police in a statement posted on their website without naming the alleged offender but disclosing his nationality, said on Sunday morning, “Sex Crimes Squad detectives have charged a Sri Lankan national following an investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a woman in Sydney’s east last week.
“Yesterday (Saturday 5 November 2022), detectives from the State Crime Command’s Sex Crimes Squad and Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command commenced a joint investigation under Strike Force Veteran following reports a 29-year-old woman had been sexually assaulted at a residence in Rose Bay earlier this week. The woman met with the man after communicating with him for a number of days via an online dating application; it’s alleged he then sexually assaulted her on the evening of Wednesday 2 November 2022,” said the statement.
“As part of ongoing investigations, a crime scene examination was undertaken by specialist police at an address in Rose Bay yesterday (Saturday). Following further inquiries, a 31-year-old man was arrested at a hotel on Sussex Street, Sydney, shortly before 1am today (Sunday 6 November 2022).
“He was taken to Sydney City Police Station and charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent. The Sri Lankan national was refused bail to appear at Parramatta Bail Court via AVL today,” said the statement.
England defeated Sri Lanka by four wickets in their last Super 12 Group 1 match to secure a place in the World Cup semifinal.