ICC probes SL T20 league over alleged fixing


COLOMBO: The International Cricket Council (ICC) is investigating an alleged attempt to fix Sri Lankan Premier League matches due to start from Thursday in Hambantota, a media report said.

The complaint alleges a former national cricketer approached a Lanka Premier League

player, and is being looked at by the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), the mass-circulating local language newspaper Lankadeepa said.

“The former national player who allegedly made the approach is currently overseas,” the paper said, adding that he had once been accused, but later cleared, of match-fixing charges by the ICC.

The ICC said it would not discuss any ongoing investigation. The Sri Lanka board’s anti-corruption unit too declined comment.

The Twenty20 tournament opens on Thursday without spectators, but under the close scrutiny of the ICC anti-corruption officials, the national board and the sports ministry.

Last week, Sri Lanka’s former fast bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa said he would appeal a decision of an ICC-appointed tribunal which found him guilty of three offences relating to match-fixing after a two-year investigation.

Cricket-crazy Sri Lanka introduced a law against corruption in sport last year after then-sports minister Harin Fernando declared that the ICC considered the Indian Ocean island the world’s most corrupt cricket nation.

The Sri Lankan board and the ICC has conducted anti-corruption programmes for players and officials and set up a 24-hour hotline to report any ‘suspicious or corrupt activity’.

The tournament will be Sri Lanka’s first top cricket since England abruptly pulled out of a two-match Test series in March as the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic spread.

The start was delayed three times because of Covid-19 restrictions imposed by authorities to contain the virus which has claimed 94 lives and infected nearly 21,000 people.