SLC suspends Kithruwan


Sri Lanka Cricket has suspended Test cricketer Kithruwan Vithanage for a period of one year on the recommendations of the board's Disciplinary Committee, an official told The Island.

SLC bosses sat down for an emergency meeting on Friday where the decision to suspend Vithanage from all forms of cricket was taken. The player who agreed with the sanctions recommended by SLC Disciplinary Committee can appeal.The sentence can be reduced on appeal.

The former Royal College batsman is one of the prolific scorers in domestic cricket turning up for Tamil Union.

According to the disciplinary committee findings, a fortnight ago, Vithanage (25) had visited a night club at Battaramulla with friends and had been drinking. In an adjoining table were a group of ruggerites with their fiances. Then the cricketer had got into a conversation with a fiance of one of the ruggerites. Later he had become a hassle and was asked to get back to his table by the ruggerites.

Vithanage had returned to his table and after more drinks had gone back to the adjoining table and allegedly squeezed the buttocks of one of the girls resulting in a fight.

Vithanage was severely injured and had to be taken to the hospital.

Initial reports suggested that Vithanage's Royal College and Tamil Union team mate Ramith Rambukwella, who too has been involved in several off the field incidents, was present during the fight. But there were no witnesses to prove his involvement and SLC officials suggested that he merely went to the night club to take his friend to hospital.

Vithanage is one of the most promising young batsmen who has already represented Sri Lanka in ten Test matches. He was chosen to play for Sri Lanka 'A' in England but was withdrawn after being charged for bringing the game into disrepute.

Meanwhile, cricket umpire Ruchira Palliyaguru is also in trouble and will face an inquiry after obstructing the proceedings of the disciplinary hearing on Vithanage.

Palliyaguru was one of the wintesses to give evidence as he too had been present during the incident. However, at the inquiry he had acted violently and had used foul language while calling for a lenient punishment on Vithanage.

Two years ago, during a Test match in Galle, Vithanage was severely reprimanded for spending a night out of the team hotel.

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