The newshounds in Sydney and in Sri Lanka have been remarkably obtuse and incompetent. Those in Sydney following the series of court appearances faced by Danushka Gunathilaka did not have the capacity to ascertain the name and other details about the blonde Australian lady holding Danushka’s left hand (and he is a left-handed batsman) during his several court appearances. Or, maybe, they discreetly refrained from seeking or voicing any such detail. As an observer from a distance, this led me to wonder if that lady was convenient cover – meant to indicate that Danushka was not a gay lothario who preyed on women.
Well, that thought has been knocked on the head. That lady has accompanied Danushka all the way to distant Sri Lanka …. still on his left and firmly clasping his hand. So: they are, it seems, a steady couple [the photo in The Island rejected ALL efforts to copy it for reproduction here! … We are clerly ina recalcitrant field!]
But the intrepid journalists in Colombo and Sydney have not yet ascertained her name and background! This generates serious questions about their investigative skills and/or acumen.
That said, I applaud Callistus Davy for his
- choice of title ….”prodigal son” …Wow! a real hit that!
- For the potent message in his concluding line: “the people who will sit to pass judgement on [Danushka] are the ones with more skeletons in their cupboards who have no right whatsoever to cast the first or last stone.”
Callistus Davy: “Cricket’s prodigal son comes home, makes impassioned plea with partner,” Sunday Observer, 8 October 2023
For almost a year Dhanushka Gunathilaka was at the mercy of a courthouse in Australia that tried him over an accusation of raping a woman. He made no revelation that he lived in fear of languishing in a jail and his cricket career perished behind bars. Now back in the safety of his native Sri Lanka with the race won and the enemy destroyed, Gunathilaka could not hide the fact that he will, for more reasons than one, fit the bill that there is no saint without a past and no sinner without a future.
“I want to start practicing (cricket) and I don’t know what the conditions on me will be. I have to wait and see,” Gunathilaka told a small band of journalists at the airport on his arrival accompanied by a blonde female he hinted was his partner and guide.
His remarks were in response to Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe declaring that the veteran of 100 international appearances will have to face conditions to get back into the Sri Lanka team. Although Gunathilaka did not show any outward signs of remorse, it was clear he wanted to convey a message that he intends to put back a dark and dreary past with a new world to look forward to.
When asked if the unnamed woman was his flame, Gunathilaka politely asked a reporter what he thought. “I think it is your love,” the reporter replied. “Yes, you can think it that way and so be it,” said Gunathilaka in the softest of tones the first signs of a man willing to atone for his sins showing no public animosity.
While most followers of cricket frowned on Gunathilaka over his off-field exploits that landed him in trouble more than once, the south-paw batsman will also have his share of sympathizers who feel he paid the price for his unsavoury behaviour during the T20 World Cup in Australia last October.
“People have a right to form their opinion about me and that is their right. I have to respect that,” said Gunathilaka who was not interested in political correctness.
But he also made no mention [of the fact] that he let down his team-mates by sneaking out under cover of darkness to indulge in a night rendezvous with a strange woman reportedly picked up through a dating website …… [an event] that backfired on him, first questioned and detained by police and then put under surveillance before a raunchy court ordeal.
For now, Gunathilaka at 32 can contemplate his future with a girl by his side who accompanied him to and from the steps of a Sydney courthouse to the comforts of his home where he will learn of his final judgement before he can play again.
But the people who will sit to pass judgement on him are the ones with more skeletons in their cupboards who have no right whatsoever to cast the first or last stone.
AND …. FOR His Cricketing CAREER, see Andew Fidel Fernando’s detailed review in ESPNCricinfo ….
Mashtayage Danushka Gunathilaka
March 17, 1991, Panadura
Left hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
Mahanama College, Colombo
A poised, attacking left-handed opener groomed in part at Sinhalese Sports Club, Danushka Gunathilaka was plucked from the domestic system largely on potential, and drafted into Sri Lanka’s A team for the tour of New Zealand in mid-2015. He impressed on that trip, hitting two smart fifties from four innings, to finish as the team’s second-highest run-scorer.
Those performances earned him a national call-up for the home series against West Indies in November. Gunathilaka then earned a second trip to New Zealand – with the senior team this time – and despite modest returns from his first three ODIs, he struck a rapid 65 in Nelson to win a Man-of-the-Match award.
Gunathilaka was not originally part of Sri Lanka’s squad for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England, but came into it ahead of their second match thanks to an injury to Chamara Kapugedara. He made a stunning entrance, scoring 76 off 72 balls to help haul down a target of 322.
That innings was followed by a run of three fifties and a maiden hundred in the ODI series against Zimbabwe, cue a call-up to the Test side. The Test debut was a disappointment, Gunathilaka scoring 16 and 2 before falling to loose strokes in both innings.
Strong square of the wicket, particularly on the off side, Gunathilaka, who admires Kumar Sangakkara, is also a part-time offspinner. He had played in Sri Lanka’s Under-19 team in the 2009 Youth World Cup……. Andrew Fidel Fernando
Danushka Gunathilaka Career Stats
Batting & Fielding
Records of Danushka Gunathilaka
Unusual dismissals (obstructing the)
Best strike rate in an innings (2.0)
Explore Statsguru Analysis
Debut/Last Matches of Danushka Gunathilaka
LIST A MATCHES
Recent Matches of Danushka Gunathilaka
|Sri Lanka vs Namibia||0||16-Oct-2022||Geelong||T20I # 1823|
|Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe||17||11-Oct-2022||Melbourne||OTHERT20|
|Sri Lanka vs Pakistan||1||11-Sep-2022||Dubai (DSC)||T20I # 1769|
|Sri Lanka vs Pakistan||0||09-Sep-2022||Dubai (DSC)||T20I # 1764|
|Sri Lanka vs India||1||06-Sep-2022||Dubai (DSC)||T20I # 1759|