Sri Lanka arrests buddy of opening batsman over rape allegation

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s police arrested a close associate of opening batsman Dhanushka Gunathilaka following a complaint that he raped a Norwegian woman at the team hotel in Colombo.

A 26-year-old man identified as Jude Sandeep was accused of rape in the same room where Gunathilaka was in the company of another Norwegian woman, a police source said.

“We have arrested Jude Sandeep who is a British passport holder of Sri Lankan origin,” the officer said. “There is no allegation of rape or any sexual misconduct against Dhanushka.”

Police have also taken possession of e-mails sent to the two Norwegian woman who were staying at a nearby hotel to meet up with Gunathilaka and his friend at the Movenpick Hotel. They checked into a 10th floor room.

Although police have not pressed charges against Gunathilaka,  Sri Lanka Cricket on Sunday suspended him from all forms of cricket pending an investigation into the incident at the same hotel where the national team as well as the South African team are put up.

The suspension will go into effect after the Test is concluded in Colombo, it added.

The cricket board will also "withhold Gunathilaka’s fee for the ongoing Test match until the outcome of the inquiry", it said.

The batsman scored 57 and 61 runs in the second and final Test, with Sri Lanka on track for a series whitewash after trouncing the visitors in Galle last week.

Another member of Sri Lanka’s Test squad, leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay, was on Friday given a suspended one-year ban from international cricket after pleading guilty to misconduct during last month’s tour of the West Indies. (COLOMBO, July 23, 2018)

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