|Danushka Gunathilaka Quick Info|
|Height||6 ft 2 in|
|Date of Birth||March 17, 1991|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
Danushka Gunathilaka is a Sri Lankan professional cricketer who has represented his country in all 3 formats of the sport (Tests, ODIs, and T20Is), as a top-order batter. Before breaking into the senior national team in November 2015, he had represented Sri Lanka at the 2010 ICC (International Cricket Council) Under-19 Cricket World Cup. Sri Lanka finished the tournament in 4th place in a field of 16 teams. In the Sri Lankan domestic circuit, he has played for Colombo Cricket Club, Sinhalese Sports Club, Kandy, Dambulla, and Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club across all 3 formats. At the franchise level, he has turned out for Galle Gladiators (2020-2022) in the LPL (Lanka Premier League) and Sylhet Sixers in the BPL (Bangladesh Premier League).
Mashtayage Danushka Gunathilaka
Danu, Dana, Danny
Panadura, Kalutara, Western Province, Sri Lanka
Danushka had attended the Mahanama College, a Sinhala Buddhist boys’ school in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Right-Arm Off Break
Top Order Batter
70 – One Day International (ODI), T20 International (T20I)
6 ft 2 in or 188 cm
78 kg or 172 lbs
Race / Ethnicity
He is of Sri Lankan descent.
- Toned physique
- Side-cropped, side-parted hair
- Affable smile
- Sports a trimmed beard
- Has multiple tattoos on both his hands
Danushka Gunathilaka Facts
- Danushka first came into the spotlight in mid-2015 when he was included in the representative team ‘Sri Lanka A’ for their tour of New Zealand. He scored 2 fifties in 4 innings on the trip to finish as his team’s 2nd-highest run scorer. The performance was instrumental in helping him make his senior international debut for Sri Lanka in November 2015, in an ODI match against the West Indies.
- He was one of the stars of the inaugural edition of the LPL (Lanka Premier League) in 2020, finishing as the leading runscorer in the tournament (476 runs in 10 matches). His efforts almost single-handedly carried Galle Gladiators into the tournament’s final.
- Danushka’s first major head-turning performance on the international stage came during the 2017 edition (held in England and Wales) of the ICC Champions Trophy. He was not even a part of Sri Lanka’s original squad for the tournament and was only called up after middle-order batter Chamara Kapugedera injured his knee. In the team’s second match of the group stage, against India, opening the batting, Danushka scored 76 runs off just 72 balls that laid the perfect platform for Sri Lanka to hunt down a massive target of 322 runs. This was Sri Lanka’s joint-highest successful run-chase in ODI history as well as the highest successful run-chase by any team in the history of the ICC Champions Trophy.
- In July 2017, in the 3rd match of a bilateral home series against Zimbabwe, he recorded his maiden ODI century which also helped Sri Lanka chase down a total of 310 runs to win the match. This was the first time in history that Sri Lanka had successfully hunted down a target of 300 runs or more in an ODI match on home soil. He won the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his performance.
- In that match, Danushka had also been involved in a 229-run partnership for the first wicket with Niroshan Dickwella. In the very next match, the pair became the first in history to have recorded double-century partnerships in successive ODIs. Zimbabwe, though, went on to win this rain-affected match, and later scripted history by winning the series (by a 3-2 margin). It was their first bilateral series win against Sri Lanka in ODIs, their first away series win since 2009, and their first win in a 5-match series away from home.
- In October 2017, he was suspended for 6 limited-overs international matches (ODIs and T20Is) by Sri Lanka Cricket (the governing body for the sport in the country) for indiscipline – missing training sessions, turning up to a match without his gear, and an indifferent attitude during training. The suspension was later reduced to 3 matches but he was still also fined 20% of his annual contract fee.
- In July 2018, Danushka was again suspended for 6 matches by Sri Lanka Cricket, this time for breaking the team curfew. He was also facing a police inquiry after one of his friends had been accused of r**ing a Norwegian woman in a hotel room in Colombo. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing in the case by the police.
- In March 2021, in a match against the West Indies, he became the first Sri Lankan cricketer to have been dismissed for ‘obstructing the field‘ in an ODI match. To put the rarity of the occasion into perspective, this was the 4,276th ODI match and just the 8th time in history that a batter had been dismissed in this mode.
- In April 2021, after reports emerged stating that he was involved in a brawl during an event at a hotel in Matara, a major city on the southern coast of the Southern Province of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Cricket directed Danushka to attend mandatory counseling sessions for a year. He, however, continued to deny the allegations, claiming that they were false and baseless.
- In June 2021, Sri Lanka Cricket suspended him, Kusal Mendis, and Niroshan Dickwella after they had reportedly breached the team’s bio-secure bubble (necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic) during the team’s tour of England. The following month, after an inquiry into the incident, he was suspended from international cricket for 1 year. The suspension was, however, revoked in January 2022.
- During the opening round (October 16 – October 21) of the 2022 edition of the ICC World T20 (held in Australia between October 16, 2022, and November 13, 2022), Danushka suffered a hamstring tear and was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament. Despite this, he continued to stay in Australia, a decision that was criticized heavily by cricket fans in the country who accused Sri Lanka Cricket of partiality and favoritism.
- Sri Lanka was eliminated from the ‘Super 12’ stage of the tournament on November 4, 2022, and played their last scheduled match the following day. The team was set to fly out of Australia on November 6, 2022, but Danushka was arrested by the local police authorities on that very day after being charged with 4 counts of s***al int***ourse without consent.
- This was after a 29-year-old woman claimed that he had assaulted her at a home in Rose Bay, a harbourside, eastern suburb of Sydney, Australia, on the evening of November 2, 2022. Before this, he had communicated with her for several days via an online dating app.
- Danushka was eventually granted bail of AUD 150k on November 17, 2022, subject to multiple conditions – reporting to police daily, a curfew from 9 pm to 6 am, not contacting the victim, and a ban on using dating applications. Sri Lanka Cricket also suspended him from playing all forms of cricket with the case due to return to court on January 12, 2023.
Featured Image by Danushka Gunathilaka / Instagram