Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided to lift the one-year ban imposed on cricketers Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella.

Accordingly, they will be eligible to play during the Zimbabwe tour, subject to meeting required fitness standards, the SLC said.  

The trio was suspended from international cricket for a year on July 30, 2021 for breaking Sri Lanka’s bio-bubble on a night out in Durham the previous month

They were also fined 10 million rupees (USD 50,000 approx.) each, and were not allowed to play domestic cricket for six months.

In addition, they were ordered places in probation for two further years, while the SLC had mandated counselling with a doctor recommended by the board as well.

The suspensions were shorter than those recommended by the independent panel that had been commissioned to inquire into the incident. 

That committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Nimal Dissanayaka, had recommended two-year suspensions for Gunathilaka and Mendis, who were deemed to have priors, and an 18-month suspension for Dickwella.

The three players were dealt with harshly partly because of the public backlash against their actions. Had it not been for footage, captured by members of the public and posted on social media, Sri Lanka’s medical staff may not have been aware that these players even left the team hotel and breached the bio-bubble on June 27, 2021.

In addition to breaching the bubble, the cricketers were found guilty of violating the team’s curfew, which was 10:30pm, and “bringing disrepute to Sri Lanka Cricket and the country”.