Sri Lankan cricketers sent home from UK over Covid bubble breach

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella is one of three players sent home from England by Sri Lanka for breaking the bio-secure bubble. Pictures: Twitter/Getty Images
Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella is one of three players sent home from England by Sri Lanka for breaking the bio-secure bubble. Pictures: Twitter/Getty Images

Sri Lanka is sending three players home from their tour of England after they were caught breaking the strict bio-secure bubble put in place to allow the tour to go ahead in the first place.

The team said on Monday it was sending their players Kushal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka back home.

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The trio were caught on video, which was later posted on social media, outside their designated team hotel.

Sri Lanka and England were due commence a one-day series on Tuesday, after the home side swept the earlier T20 series 3-0.

The visitors are already without opener Avishka Fernando who has been ruled out of the one-dayers with a quadriceps injury sustained during the second T20 match in Cardiff.

"The three players will be suspended from all forms of cricket, until the completion of the inquiry," Sri Lanka's national cricket board said in a statement.

The team was meant to be in a bio-secure bubble with members not allowed to step out or mingle with people who are not part of the group.

Coronavirus dramas have affected the series in more ways than one, with one of the match officials who umpired during the T20 series testing positive for the coronavirus.

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said Phil Whitticase has tested positive for COVID-19 and his close contacts include five who were due to officiate on Tuesday.

They will have to self-isolate until July 7.

England thump Sri Lanka, sweep T20 series

England have powered to a clean sweep in the Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka with a thumping 89-run victory at the Rose Bowl.

Dawid Malan returned to form in the final match on Saturday with a classy 76 from 48 balls after single-figure scores in the back-to-back wins at Cardiff.

With just one fifty in his last seven innings, the world No.1-ranked T20 batsman sparkled in a knock containing five fours and four sixes after being promoted to open the batting.

Jason Roy's tight hamstring led to a batting reshuffle and Malan and Jonny Bairstow, who made 51 off 43 deliveries, put on 105 in 11.4 overs, before Dushmantha Chameera's career-best 4-17 restricted England to 6-180.

Sri Lanka ultimately capitulated to 91 all out in 18.5 overs as they lost the series 3-0.

In what has been a recurrent theme of the series, Sri Lanka lacked scoring options and England were collectively excellent with the ball, David Willey taking 3-27 while fellow left-armer Sam Curran collected two wickets.

England swept their recent T20 series against Sri Lanka 3-0. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
England swept their recent T20 series against Sri Lanka 3-0. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Sri Lanka had won the toss for the third time and elected to field, but Isuru Udana had a forgettable introduction, sending down four wides in a 10-ball over as England racked up 48 in the powerplay.

Bairstow went to a 41-ball fifty before playing around Udana's yorker as Sri Lanka made a belated breakthrough in the 12th over.

Malan, though, reached his half-century from only 30 deliveries, his 12th 50-plus score in just 27 T20 innings.

He then belted Wanindu Hasaranga for two towering leg-side sixes in a 15th over that yielded 18, but from a position of 1-143, England lost five wickets in 23 legal balls as thoughts of a 200-plus total vanished.

Sri Lanka found boundaries hard to come by in reply after Danushka Gunathilaka was dismissed quickly by David Willey.

The visitors had lurched to 3-29 in the fifth over when Kusal Mendis tentatively nicked off to Willey.

Sri Lanka did, at least, avoid setting a new benchmark for the lowest T20 score in their history - which remains 82 against India in February 2016 - but any hope of a surprise victory had long since vanished.

With AAP

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