Sri Lanka batter Gunathilaka charged with sexual assault

Sri Lanka batter Danushka Gunathilaka has been charged over the alleged sexual assault of a woman in Sydney.

Gunathilaka was arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning at the Sri Lankan team hotel following a police investigation into reports a 29-year-old woman had been sexually assaulted last week.

New South Wales (NSW) Police claimed the pair had been in contact for several days through an online dating app before Gunathilaka is alleged to have committed sexual assault on Wednesday evening.

Gunathilaka has been charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent.

A NSW Police statement said: “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.

“A 31-year-old man was arrested at a hotel on Sussex Street, Sydney, shortly before 1am. 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 (audio visual links) on Sunday.”

Gunathilaka had remained with Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup squad in Australia despite being ruled out of the tournament at the first-round stage because of a left hamstring tear.

At tournaments under its jurisdiction, the International Cricket Council has security liaison officers in each city and they are the first to be informed by anything police-related.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) issued a statement saying it “was notified by the ICC that player Danushka Gunathilaka has been arrested on the allegations of sexual assault of a woman in Sydney”.

The statement added: “Mr Gunathilaka is due to appear in court tomorrow (7 November 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.”

Sri Lanka’s final game at this year’s T20 World Cup was a four-wicket defeat against England in Sydney on Saturday.


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