by Champika Fernando
The International Cricket Council says they are currently investigation into ‘serious allegations of corruption in cricket’ in Sri Lanka.
The world body did not elaborate the details with regard to the ongoing investigation but said they provided a detailed briefing to the Sri Lankan President, Prime Minister and Sports Minister.
“We are currently in Sri Lanka as part of our ongoing investigations into serious allegations of corruption in cricket in the country,” said ICC’s anti-corruption head Alex Marshall.
“The enquiries are continuing so it would not be appropriate to comment further, but I can confirm that we have, at their request, provided a detailed briefing to the Sri Lankan President, Prime Minister and Sports Minister. We are receiving full support from the Competent Authority currently in place at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) whilst elections for the SLC Board are pending,” the ICC statement added.
They confirmed that the investigations are not related to the series about to start against England but said they would brief players of both team over the coming days to ensure they remain alert to the risks form would be corruptions.
“I’d like to make it clear that these investigations have been underway for a considerable time and do not relate to the series about to start in Sri Lanka. However, I will take the opportunity to brief both the teams over the coming days to ensure they remain alert to the risks from would be corruptions,” it further added.
The ICC investigators who are currently in Sri Lanka is reported to have interviewed a former Sri Lanka fast bowler and had also taken his mobile to custody.
The ICC recently said five captains, including four from the full member teams, have reported fixing approaches to the governing body’s Anti-Corruption Unit from June 2017 to date.
The announcement was made just hours after Afghanistan wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad reported a spot-fixing approach to ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit. The offer has been made during the Asia Cup to under-perform during the inaugural edition of the Afghans Premier League to be played in Sharjah from October 5 to 23.
At a media day held at the ICC headquarters on the sidelines of the Asia Cup, the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Head Alex Marshall did not divulge names for the obvious reasons but said the investigations are ongoing.
“Corruptors love captain,” Mr. Marshall said “We had five captains approached during the last 12-months. If you look at some of the famous cases in the history, all of them have the captains involved, because he has the control of the team”.
Mr. Marshall said that there had been 32 investigations during the last 12 months out of which 23 cases are against those directly involved in cricket including eight cases against player suspects.
"There have been 32 investigations in the last 12 months, eight involve players as suspects," he said. "Five of them involve administrators or non-playing personnel. Three of these individuals have been charged."
Sri Lanka is among those countries being investigated. The ICC anti-corruptions sleuths visited Sri Lanka several times to conduct investigations and a recent sting operation by Al Jazeera—a Qatar based media house—alleged that several Sri Lankans, including two former players, attempted to fix for financial gains.