Lanka's Mendis, Dickwella amid bubble-breach storm

Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella faces probe for breaching bio-bubble. — AFP
Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella faces probe for breaching bio-bubble. — AFP

Chester-le-Street (Durham) - Team manager Manuja Kariyapperuma said that the issue was being investigated


Published: Mon 28 Jun 2021, 2:07 PM

Ahead of the opening One-day International (ODI) against hosts England, Sri Lanka were in trouble on Monday with a reported bio-bubble breach involving Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella.

A 30-second video footage has been circulating on social media showing the two cricketers sitting in a public place without face masks.

The Kusal Perera-led Sri Lanka, who have lost the three-match T20I series by big margins, begin their ODI campaign on Tuesday (June 29).

Sri Lanka team manager Manuja Kariyapperuma was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo on Monday that the issue was being investigated.

Kariyapperuma said the area that Mendis and Dickwella have been seen to be in, in the images does not appear to be in the vicinity of the team hotel in Durham.

If proved, the reported breach could have serious implications for the team and Mendis and Dickwella would be asked to isolate. They would then not be available for the first two ODIs of the three-match series.

On Sunday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had announced that ICC match referee Phil Whitticase -- who officiated in the three-match T20I series between England and Sri Lanka which concluded on June 26 -- had tested positive for Covid-19.

Whitticase, along with seven other officials, will not officiate in the three match ODI series.

"He (Whitticase) will now observe a period of 10-days of self-isolation from 25 June, in accordance with the UK Government's protocol on quarantine," ECB stated.

"Seven other members from the match officials and anti-corruption unit teams were deemed close contacts, including five members due to officiate at the first Royal London ODI on Tuesday, June 29, at Emirates Riverside, Durham. Those impacted will have to self-isolate for 10-days until July 7," ECB added.

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