Sri Lankan Cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka Accused of Raping Australian Woman After Hooking Up on Tinder

Sri Lanka's top-order batsman Danushka Gunathilaka is alleged to have forced himself on top of an Australian woman, whom he hooked up with on Tinder, and refused to use a condom.

He is accused of choking and sexually assaulting the 29-year-old at her home just days after meeting her on the dating app.

Gunathilaka was arrested, as per the New South Wales police facts sheet, in the early hours of Sunday at Sydney's Hyatt Regency Hotel where the Sri Lankan cricket team was preparing to leave Australia after its last game in the T20 World Cup.

Danushka Gunathilaka
Sri Lanka Cricket

The cricketer maintains his innocence.


Being a controversial case related to an international cricketer, the media was initially not allowed to sit in court and report on the matter. The police prosecutor Kerry-Ann McKinnon had requested the court through a filing for the case to be heard in closed court and subject to suppression order. The police had argued the case should be suppressed in an effort to protect the safety of the complainant, and prevent her undue distress and embarrassment.

However Australian media outlets Sydney Morning Herald and Channel 9 successfully won a bid on Wednesday to report on the case, overturning the suppression order.

Magistrate Robert Williams allowed the media access to the police fact sheet.

The Hookup

Sri Lanka's star play, as per the fact sheet, matched with the woman on Tinder on October 29 before moving the conversation to Instagram and WhatsApp. Gunathilaka tried to encourage the woman to travel to Brisbane to see him but was declined. But the two, over several video calls, arranged to meet in person in Sydney.

They met at Opera Bar in Sydney's Circular Quay about 8.20 pm on November 2. The fact sheet stated that the woman was already there for another function with people she knew. The cricketer and the woman stayed at the bar for half an hour. Gunathilaka had two drinks, while the woman had five standard alcoholic beverages. They duo then had dinner at Frankie's Pizza before catching a ferry to the woman's house around 11pm. Police in the fact sheet stated that while waiting for the ferry, Gunathilaka stood in front of the complainant and pressed his body against her and kissed her forcefully on the lips. He allegedly kissed her forcefully again and slapped her buttocks.

Danushka Gunathilaka
Sri Lanka Cricket

The woman asked Gunathilaka to "take it slow" but he allegedly forced himself on top of her and refused to wear a condom. He forcefully kissed her, put his hand down her neckline, into her bra and groped her breast. They moved to the bedroom, but the woman began to feel uncomfortable. She agreed to continue with the sexual engagement only if the international cricketer wore a condom.

He conceded to wearing the condom, but the woman later found it on the floor to the side of the bed.

No Consent and Being Choked

The woman told the police that she tried to remove Gunathilaka's hand by grabbing his wrist but he squeezed tighter around her neck. "The complainant was fearing for her life and could not get away from the accused. She also gagged and could not breath during an attempt at oral sex," the court documents revealed. "She continually tried to pull away from the accused, a clear indication that she was not consenting."

When the woman woke up the following morning, she had sore and swollen lips. The fact sheet highlights that she called two friends, contacted a counselling service and saw her doctor, and couldn't stop crying. She lodged a complaint at the Bondi Police Station and underwent a Sexual Assault Investigation Kit and brain scan.

Gunathilaka agreed to some of the victim's statements but denied that he had been violent, or that consent had not been given. He faces four counts of sexual intercourse without consent. The Sri Lankan cricketer's bail plea was rejected on Monday. As such, he has to spend the next two months behind bars. The case is adjourned to January 12, 2023. The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has established a three-person investigation team to look into the incident.