Cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka arrested in Sydney over sexual assault allegations
5 months ago
BY Kiara Warnasuriya Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka was arrested yesterday (6) by the Sydney Police over sexual assault allegations at the Hyatt Regency, where the Sri Lankan cricket team had been residing the past few days. Detectives arrested Gunathilaka at around 1 a.m. Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) yesterday (6), while the team’s bags were being gathered for their scheduled flight back to Colombo. According to the Sydney Police, 31-year-old Gunathilaka, who had been ruled out of the team for the T20 World Cup in Australia due to injury, had met the 29-year-old female victim via a dating app. Following several days of communicating online, the pair had agreed to meet in person at the Opera Bar in Sydney on Wednesday (2), after which they proceeded to the victim’s residence located in Rose Bay. Gunathilaka had allegedly refused to use protection and choked the victim prior to sexual intercourse. Gunathilaka was detained in Sydney, while the rest of the team took the flight back to Sri Lanka last morning. Former Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Chief Legal Officer and former Sri Lanka Cricket Sydney President Chanaka Senanayake revealed that a bail application was dismissed in court yesterday due to it being a Sunday. Gunathilaka was due to be produced in court at 7 a.m. AEDT this morning (7). Senanayake stated that Gunathilaka’s legal representative Ananda Amaranath is confident Gunathilaka will be bailed out at this hearing, although he feels that the cricketer’s reputation will be severely affected by these allegations. “His entire future with Sri Lanka Cricket will be decided by the court’s decision,” said Senanayake. SLC issued a statement yesterday morning after the news had become public. “Sri Lanka Cricket confirms that it was notified by the International Cricket Council (ICC) that player Danushka Gunathilaka has been arrested on the allegations of sexual assault of a woman in Sydney, and Gunathilaka is due to appear in court tomorrow (7),” the statement said. “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.” Gunathilaka has played eight Tests, 47 ODIs, and 46 T20Is for Sri Lanka since making his international debut in November 2015.