Sri Lanka were thrashed 3-0 in the T20 series last week, and their preparations for the ODI series – which begins in Durham tomorrow – have been severely disrupted.
Vice-captain Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka were suspended from all forms of cricket and “flown back to Sri Lanka, with immediate effect” following a “preliminary inquiry” into a video that circulated on social media overnight of the players out in public.
“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,” read a statement. “The three players will be suspended, from all forms of cricket, until the completion of the inquiry."
This leaves Sri Lanka extremely light on batting, with Avishka Fernando already ruled out of the ODI series with a quad injury.
England will be without Jason Roy, who joins Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer on the sidelines. Roy sits out again with a tight hamstring, opening the door for Dawid Malan to play in a makeshift batting lineup that includes Sam Billings and Liam Livingstone.