Sri Lankan cricketer denied bail in Australia on sex charges



SYDNEY — A Sri Lankan cricketer accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Australia remained in jail on Monday after a court denied his bail request.

Danushka Gunathilaka was arrested early on Sunday at his Sydney hotel and charged with four counts of sex without consent. The 31-year-old had traveled to Australia as part of Sri Lanka’s squad for the T20 World Cup.

Sri Lanka Cricket said it was suspending Gunathilaka from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.

Under Australian court rules, not all details of the case can be reported.

At the Downing Center Local Court, Magistrate Robert Williams noted that Gunathilaka had no criminal history.

But the cricketer’s request for release was later rejected by the court.

Outside of court, defense lawyer Ananda Amaranath said the ruling was disappointing and his client was considering an appeal to the New South Wales State Supreme Court.

Gunathilaka’s bail application was filed in closed court, after the police prosecutor filed a motion to withhold the publication of the facts of the case and the indictment against him. 31 year old man.

The motion to suppress was opposed by Amaranath and Stephen Coombs, Nationwide News’ senior legal counsel. The couple made similar arguments – that the victim’s name had previously been withheld from public disclosure and that further suppression orders were contrary to open justice.

But the judge decided to grant an interim order closing the court from public scrutiny on Monday. This order will be reviewed on Wednesday.

The cricketer had spent a night in police custody at Surry Hills Police Station before appearing in handcuffs and wearing a gray t-shirt via video link to court.

“Yes sir,” he told the court when asked if his video link was working.

Gunathilaka traveled to Australia with the Sri Lanka squad for the T20 World Cup but only played the team’s first game, a loss to Namibia, before being dropped from the competition in due to a torn hamstring.

The cricketer had held up well given the circumstances, his lawyer told the media outside the court.

“He has the full support of the Sri Lankan High Commissioner and the Sri Lankan Cricket Council. So he is fine,” Amaranath said.

The left-handed batsman played nearly 100 T20s and one-day internationals for Sri Lanka and eight test matches.

Sri Lanka lost their last group match to England on Saturday in the T20 World Cup and the rest of the squad – minus Gunathilaka – returned home on Sunday.

Consultant coach and former captain Mahela Jayawardene, who had traveled with the team to Australia, told reporters at the airport in Sri Lanka upon their return that it would be up to the Australian justice system to determine what happened .

“The players who participate in these tournaments are not school children, they are professionals and they must take responsibility for their behavior and the decisions they make,” Jayawardene said.

Sri Lanka Cricket said it would investigate and penalize Gunathilaka if found guilty by an Australian court.

The cricketing organization said it wanted to emphasize that it has a zero-tolerance policy towards any alleged player conduct and will provide all necessary support to the Australian authorities to carry out an impartial investigation into the incident.


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