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Sri Lanka hand Vithanage one-year ban for misconduct

Sri Lanka's Kithuruwan Vithanage catches the ball during a practice session ahead of their second test cricket match against Pakistan in Colombo June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte/Files
Sri Lanka's Kithuruwan Vithanage catches the ball during a practice session ahead of their second test cricket match against Pakistan in Colombo June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte/Files

(Reuters) - Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have suspended Kithuruwan Vithanage from all forms of the game for one year after finding him guilty of misconduct and breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct.

According to local media reports, the 25-year-old was involved in a late night public brawl in Colombo last month. This is the second disciplinary issue involving Vithanage in as many years.

In September 2014, the left-handed batsman, who last played for his country in January, was fined his full match fee and handed a "suspended sentence of one year" after leaving the team hotel overnight during a test tour.

"The Disciplinary Committee was presented with written and oral evidence from witnesses to the incident in question and Vithanage was invited to present similar evidence in his defence," the SLC said in a statement on Thursday.

"Accordingly, the Executive Committee has confirmed the intimation made to Vithanage of his immediate suspension, and for a period of one year. He may appeal this decision."

The last of Vithanage's 10 test appearances came against New Zealand in December. He has scored 370 runs at an average of 26.42 in the longest format of the game. He has also played six one-day internationals and three Twenty20 games.

(Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford; peter.rutherford@thomsonreuters.com; +822 3704 5698 Reuters; Messaging: peter.rutherford.reuters.com@reuters.net)

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