Dilshan’s antics in Zimbabwe comes to light

In the recent days various allegations against Tillakaratne Dilshan have been surfacing. One of them being, the allegation that he sexually assaulted a girl in Zimbabwe.

What happened on tour in Zimbabwe still remains a mystery, but there is no longer any doubt that something did actually transpire.

The incident in Zimbabwe was originally touched on by cricket writer, Trevor Chesterfield, on his column here, when all others were oblivious to it.

Eventually, word of Dilshan misbehaving in Zimbabwe spread like wild fire.

On his column on August 19 2010, Chesterfield wrote: "Already there are rumours surfacing that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are keeping a close watch on his [Dilshan’s] future behaviour, which could have something to do with an unsavoury incident that took place on the tour of Zimbabwe a couple of months ago. Two contacts in Harare (names and emails withheld) suggest certain people in the landlocked African nation were pleased to see the back of Dilshan when the tour was over."

There were many accusations made against the author and many insults directed at him when he informed cricket fans of the "unsavoury incident" involving Dilshan in Zimbabwe.

Even this website, Island Cricket, was not spared. It was accused of being anti-Sri Lankan. Some claimed that the entire story was made up to bring Dilshan to disrepute.

The story, however, appears to be true.

An incident did take place in Zimbabwe and despite trying to sweep it under the carpet for months, Sri Lanka Cricket has finally admitted that an incident did indeed take place.

Zimbabwe Cricket authorities too have confirmed that an incident took place, but the police, however, did not lay any charges against Dilshan.

Zimbabwe Cricket head of media and communications Shingai Rhuhwaya said that they were aware about a incident that took place at the end of the tri-series.

Reading a ZC statement from Harare Rhuhwaya said: “Zimbabwe cricket has been advised of an alleged incident involving one of the Sri Lankan cricketers that occurred in the team hotel following their victory in the recently concluded tri-series in Zimbabwe. Upon further investigation by our security and legal affairs department, we have been informed by the local police that no charges were ever laid by any complainants and no details of the incident were ever specified. To the best of our knowledge, no player or team official was or has subsequently been charged with anything in relation to this incident. So in the absence of an allegation, let alone a charge, arrest or case, Zimbabwe Cricket cannot make further comments, but assures authorities of its full cooperation as always, should anything further emerge.”

The rumours in Sri Lanka amongst those who know a thing or two about Dilshan and Fernando suggest that the Zimbabwe police were paid off with a large sum of money to avoid charges being laid.

But when those rumours surfaced, many laughed it off assuming that the whole incident was conjured up by a columnist on Island Cricket, and that the rumours of bribing the police were also nonsense.

What we do know is that by denying it and by trying to cover it up, Sri Lanka Cricket is responsible for this entire incident blowing out of proportion. Sri Lanka Cricket has to be held responsible for allowing these rumours to spread. Their response to the statement by Zimbabwe Cricket today is like a knee jerk reaction. They waited until Zimbabwe Cricket issued a statement to admit that an incident did take place. Just a few days ago they called it "baseless allegations."

What’s next? Will they disclose the incident in full once the media gets hold of the Zimbabwean police officers on duty that night?

Anyway, The Indian Express has more on the story,

Sri Lanka opening batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan was once again in the news for the wrong reasons when it emerged he had misbehaved with a woman while breaking 10 pm curfew as captain of the side which, won the tri-series in Zimbabwe earlier this year. The incident, it is learnt, occurred on the night of June 5 after Sri Lanka had beaten India by six wickets. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had issued a stern warning to Dilshan and Dilhara Fernando, who was with his skipper when the incident occurred.

It has now emerged that Dilshan was questioned by the local police after the incident. There was no charge sheet filed against Dilshan, so SLC officials didn’t find it necessary to even conduct an informal inquiry into the incident.

The Sri Lanka team’s manager on the tour Anura Tennekoon in his report has highlighted the fact that Dilshan, in spite of being skipper, had broken the curfew.

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