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Regular-article-logo Sunday, 21 April 2024

ICC suspends Nuwan Zoysa for match-fixing

The International Cricket Council has charged the Sri Lankan bowling coach with three counts of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 31.10.18, 09:37 PM
Nuwan Zoysa

Nuwan Zoysa Agency file picture

Sri Lankan cricket’s recent struggles with corruption were compounded on Wednesday when former player and bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for match-fixing.

An ICC media release on Wednesday said: “The International Cricket Council (ICC) has charged Sri Lankan bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa with three counts of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. Mr Zoysa has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect.”

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The charges laid on Zoysa are as follows:

  • Article 2.1.1 – being party to an effort to fix or contrive or to otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspect of an International match.
  • Article 2.1.4 – directly soliciting, inducing, enticing or encouraging a player to breach Code Article 2.1.1.
  • Article 2.4.4 – failing to disclose to the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in corrupt conduct under the Code.

The ICC release, however, doesn’t provide the specifics of the incident/incidents due to which the former left-arm pacer has been charged and suspended.

According to a related report in British daily The Daily Telegraph, “the charges relate to trying to recruit members of the current Sri Lanka team to fix upcoming matches. It is not known whether the games in question are related to the ongoing England tour, although in the past the ICC has said it has not received any threats to the Test series which starts next week in Galle.”

The report also added that another Sri Lanka coach lower down in the organisation is also expected to be charged soon.

The ICC is currently conducting a full-scale investigation into the alleged corruption in Sri Lankan cricket.

Recently, Sanath Jayasuriya, a member of Sri Lanka’s World Cup-winning squad of 1996 and one of the most successful cricketers from the island nation, was charged by the ICC with non-cooperation in the probe. So the Zoysa matter has only worsened the case for Sri Lanka, who have struggled to put up decent performances on the field as well.

The development comes just days ahead of Sri Lanka’s Test series against England. The Lankans had lost the ODI series against England 1-3 and were also beaten in the one-off T20 International. The three-Test series against the English men is scheduled to begin in Galle on November 6.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had earlier suspended Galle groundsman Tharanga Indika and professional cricketer Tharindu Mendis, who allegedly spoke about fixing the pitch to ensure a result in under four days in a sting operation by a TV channel.

SLC also suspended provincial coach Jeevantha Kulathunga in the same case.

In 2016, Galle curator Jayananda Warnaweera was suspended for failing to co-operate with the ICC’s anti-corruption probe.

Zoysa, who played 30 Tests and 95 ODIs for Sri Lanka, was appointed Sri Lanka’s bowling coach in September, 2015. He worked at Sri Lanka cricket’s high performance centre, which gave him access to current international players.

The ICC release said that Zoysa has 14 days from November 1, 2018 to respond to the charges.

He played his last International match in 2007 and later worked in India with the Goa Cricket Association as a fast-bowling coach.

He was the first-ever player in the history to take a hat-trick in his first over of a Test match. The match was against Zimbabwe, played in Harare in November 1999.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a statement that Zoysa was being sent on 'compulsory leave' with immediate effect as it begins work towards establishing an anti-corruption unit in the country.

The statement added that Sri Lanka's minister of sports, Faiszer Musthapa, had assured the SLC that he will work towards introducing tough anti-corruption laws in Sri Lanka.

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