News 12 October 2015

Sri Lankan cricket official probed in ICC match-fixing investigation

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has reportedly launched a match-fixing probe against a high ranking Sri Lanka Cricket official. According to the AFP, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has said that Jayananda Warnaweera, curator of the Galle International Stadium, is under investigation by the ICC’s anti corruption unit.

SLC, the governing body of cricket in Sri Lanka, earlier this month issued a statement confirming that Warnaweera had resigned from his position on the Interim Committee of SLC with immediate effect. Warnaweera’s resignation cited personal reasons as the cause of his actions. Warnaweera’s initial appointment to the Interim Committee was controversial at the time. He had previously been an executive committee member in contentious previous administrations, and the new committee was supposedly a ‘clean break’ from the past. In 2006, Warnaweera had reportedly failed to co-operate with an ICC match-fixing investigation.

Prakash Shaffter, Secretary of SLC, reportedly told the AFP over the weekend that, as a result of the ongoing ICC investigation, Warnaweera had been barred from taking part in the Test match at the Galle stadium. Sri Lanka are due to play the West Indies at Galle in the first of a two-Test series which is due to start on Wednesday.

According to the AFP, official sources within SLC have said that the ICC has been conducting an anti-corruption investigation for nearly a month. However the SLC was reportedly only formally told on Friday. The ICC has been contacted for comment, but is yet to respond.

Last Thursday, ESPNcricinfo reported that SLC had requested that Warnaweera step back from preparations for next week’s Test, after he missed a meeting with the ICC’s anti-corruption security unit (ACSU) in Colombo last Wednesday. The Sri Lankan broadsheet, The Sunday Times, then reported that Warnaweera had been suspended by SLC from all his official duties as the curator of Galle International cricket stadium. However, SLC is yet to issue an official suspension nor make a statement on the matter.

The Sunday Times have further stated that SLC has prepared a letter to be sent to Warnaweera, barring him from engaging in any cricket activity or club activity with immediate effect, until he faces the ICC’s match fixing charges. However the letter will reportedly only be sent after the Interim Committee meeting scheduled for October 16.

Warnaweera has not been available for comment and, according to ESPNcricinfo, SLC officials have said that they had also had trouble reaching him.

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