Kithuruwan Vithanage has been suspended from playing all forms of cricket for one year after being found guilty of misconduct as per its own constitution and the International Cricket Council’s Code of Conduct, Sri Lanka Cricket said on Thursday (July 7).
Without going into the details of the said misconduct, SLC said the suspension of the 25-year-old left-hand batsman who has played 10 Tests, six One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals comes into effect immediately.
It is learnt that the hearing and the sentencing is the fallout of a late-night incident in a club in Colombo last month – the same venue where the ICC Awards function was held in 2012 — necessitating SLC to step in. According to a press release from the governing body in Sri Lanka, the inquiry was conducted by a disciplinary committee on June 16 at the SLC headquarters with Vithanage present, and the batsman was found guilty of misconduct and in breach of the International Cricket Council clauses 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124.
The disciplinary committee was presented with written and oral evidence from witnesses to the incident in question, and Vithanage was invited to present similar evidence in his defence, SLC added. “After a closed hearing, and in consideration of the evaluation of the evidence presented, the disciplinary committee has recommended an immediate suspension, specifically drawing attention to the fact that the conduct of Vithanage is ‘unacceptable when considering his status as a public figure, and a role model for the youth of Sri Lanka’,” SLC said. “Accordingly, the executive committee has confirmed the intimation made to Vithanage of his immediate suspension, and for a period of one year. He may appeal this decision.”
Vithanage, who celebrated his international debut in March 2013 by making a half-century in the second innings against Bangladesh during the Galle Test, last played for Sri Lanka in December 2015 in the Hamilton Test against New Zealand. His lone hundred, an unbeaten 103, came in his third Test, against Bangladesh in Mirpur in January 2014, but his highest score in his next 13 innings was 38 before he lost his place in the XI as well as the squad.