Sri Lankan cricketer detained on Australian rape charges

SYDNEY, 7 Nov 2022:

Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka remained under arrest in Australia for allegedly raping a woman in Sydney after he was denied bail today.

Gunathilaka was in Australia to represent his country in the ongoing T20 Cricket World Cup.

The cricketer was arrested yesterday from a hotel where the Sri Lankan team was staying. He has now been suspended by his country’s cricket board.

Gunathilaka is alleged to have raped a 29-year-old woman on Wednesday last week after they met on an online platform, according to police reports citing the complaint by the supposed victim.

The cricketer is charged with four counts related to having sexual relations without consent. The court in Sydney refused him bail during a closed hearing, according to state broadcaster ABC.

For his part, the cricketer’s attorney said his client “will be disappointed, clearly” and is trying to take the case to the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the highest court of the region, reported ABC.

Gunathilaka, 31, last played for his country on Oct 16 against Namibia in Sri Lanka’s opening game of the T20 World Cup in the city of Geelong, about 1,000km south of Sydney.

Against this backdrop, the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket announced Gunathilaka’s suspension from “all forms of cricket” with “immediate effect,” according to a statement published on their website.

Sri Lanka Cricket, which emphasises “zero tolerance” against such conduct, also announced an inquiry into the incident and possible punishments for the player if he is found guilty in Australia.