Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka sent home after breaching team bio-security rules
First ODI of three-match series between England and Sri Lanka takes place at Emirates Riverside on Tuesday as scheduled; Mark Wood says England restrictions have been tight in Durham due to number of Covid-19 cases in the area
Last Updated: 28/06/21 2:57pm
Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka have been sent home from Sri Lanka's tour of England after breaching team bio-security rules, but it is understood the one-day international series is not in doubt.
Video footage purporting to show two of the players out late in Durham, where the first one-day international will be held on Tuesday, was posted to Twitter on Monday morning prompting an internal investigation.
It was determined that the outing broke Sri Lanka's Covid-19 restrictions and the first-choice trio have been sent home "with immediate effect" and are suspended from all forms of cricket pending an inquiry, according to a statement released by Sri Lanka Cricket.
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"Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to inform that vice-captain Kusal Mendis, wicket-keeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella and batsman Danushka Gunathilaka will be flown back to Sri Lanka with immediate effect," the statement said.
"This decision was taken following a preliminary inquiry conducted over a video posted on social media in which the said three players can be seen outside their designated hotel.
"The decision to recall the players was taken by the executive committee of Sri Lanka Cricket, based on the 'Manager's Report' on the matter.
"The three players will be suspended, from all forms of cricket, until the completion of the inquiry."
Given that the players would almost certainly have faced a mandatory isolation period following their transgression, and the fact that the three-match series will be over by Sunday, the chances of being kept on was always slim.
County Durham is currently a Covid-19 hotspot as it battles a rising tide of infections, predominantly among young people, making the unauthorised evening jaunt a particularly ill-advised one.
Wood: England restrictions tight in Durham
England fast bowler Mark Wood says players from his side have been told to be extra vigilant in Durham with the high number of Covid cases.
The 31-year-old also says he is happy that Tuesday's ODI is still set to go ahead.
"It's disappointing from them. It's a shame for the Sri Lanka players and their team," Wood told reporters on Monday.
"I don't know what their team measures are, if they are more relaxed, as I only know what we have been told from our team point of view.
"We are going to have to make sure we are doubly on it now because little slips like this can put the whole thing in jeopardy.
"We have taken this very seriously in terms of appointing a Covid compliance officer [Phil Davies] who tells us everywhere we go what we can and can't do.
"Durham is an area that is apparently quite high with the level of Covid so we have been told we couldn't go to coffee shops or restaurants.
"We can go for a walk but are only allowed in certain places. We have had to be a bit more rigid with Durham being a hotspot.
"I am happy the game goes ahead. From an England point of view, I hope nothing changes and we can get on with the game."
Watch the first one-day international between England and Sri Lanka, from Durham, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Tuesday.