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Gunathilaka cleared of sexual assault but ban remains

Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka was cleared of sexual assault in Sydney on Thursday, saying outside court that he "can't wait" to play again despite remaining under a ban back home.

The 32-year-old batsman was arrested in November last year just hours after his country lost to England in their final Twenty20 World Cup match in Australia.

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He was initially accused of four counts of sexual intercourse without consent after arranging to meet a woman at a bar near the Sydney Opera House through a dating app.

Three of those charges were dropped in May.

On the remaining count, Judge Sarah Huggett found him not guilty, according to a document provided by the New South Wales District Court in Sydney.

"The last 11 months have been really hard for me," Gunathilaka told reporters outside the court.

"Everyone believed me, so that means a lot to me," he said.

"I am happy that my life is normal again so I can't wait to go back and play cricket."

Prosecutors had argued he removed a condom during sex without telling the woman, who had only agreed to protected sex, according to a report by Australian public broadcaster ABC.

But the judge said the woman did not have a clear memory of what happened at the time, it said.

A Sri Lanka Cricket board official told AFP that a ban on Gunathilaka was still in place and he would face disciplinary action for violating its player code of conduct on his return.

"He is still banned from all forms of the game," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"He will have to face an inquiry for breaking a curfew and engaging in conduct that brought disrepute to the team."

Gunathilaka made his international debut in 2015 and has played eight Tests, 47 ODIs and 46 T20s. Sri Lanka Cricket suspended him after he was charged.