Sri Lanka cricket board banned three players for a year on Friday, reports AFP. The decision was taken after it was found that the three players - vice-captain Kusal Mendis, opener Danushka Gunathilaka and wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella had breached the COVID-19 protocols during the tour of England. The three players had left the bio-bubble during the tour.

In videos doing the rounds on social media, the three players can be seen outside their bio-secure hotel in Durham. The players had reportedly gone on a night out ahead of a one-day international against England.

Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella were seen smoking in the streets of Durham, where they were based ahead of the first one-day international at Chester-le-Street.

In a second video on social media, opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka is seen joining the pair, violating the coronavirus rules of their stay in England, where they were not allowed to roam freely.

In its statement, the national board said that the trio have brought disrepute to the country and to Sri Lanka cricket. The players had been sent home from the tour on June 28.

England pace bowler Mark Wood admitted the Sri Lanka breach showed top level sports people must stay focused to avoid putting their game at risk.

The trio was on Thursday found guilty by a five-member independent disciplinary panel. The panel found them guilty of violating health regulations and leaving their hotel in Durham.

The trio were found guilty of "breaching Covid-19 safety guidelines, instruction sand regulations of the team management and... putting into jeopardy the safety of said players, fellow team members and others."

The Sri Lanka board first imposed a two-year ban on all three players, but later suspended one year. Mendis, Gunathilaka and Dickwella will be on probation for two years once their ban is served.