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The state of Sri Lankan cricket: corruption, sanctions and amnesty

Cricket - Sri Lanka
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 By Anujaya Krishna

“You would do well to love cricket for it is more free from anything sordid, anything dishonourable than any game in the world. To play it keenly, generously, self sufficiently is a moral lesson in itself. And the classroom is God's air and sunshine. Foster it my brothers so it may attract all who find the time to play it. And protect it from anything that may try and sully it ...” (Lord Harris, fifth touring England captain to Australia)1

Corruption, especially to facilitate match- or spot-fixing threatens to dismantle the very fabric of cricket. It is with this in mind that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has established the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), the ICC Anti-Corruption Code for Participants (Anti-Corruption Code) and the ICC’S Minimum Standards For Players’ And Match Officials’ Areas At International Matches (ICC Minimum Standards).

One cricketing nation that has been in the eye of the storm as regards corruption in cricket is Sri Lanka.2 So much so that ICC General Manager, Alex Marshall used the phrasethe very specific challenges we face in Sri Lanka3, while speaking on the need to remove corruption from cricket there. In the span of the last six months, corruption charges have been levied against four former Sri Lankan cricketers: Nuwan Zoysa, Avishka Gunawardene, Dilhara Lokuhettige, and Sanath Jayasuriya (Jayasuriya). In fact, Jayasuriya has been banned from all cricket-related activities for two years after being found guilty of breaching two counts of the Anti-Corruption Code.4 The other three are currently under suspension.

This article reviews the situation in Sri Lanka, focusing on the charges levied against these four cricketers, and Jayasuriya in particular, in whose case a decision has already been taken by the ICC. It also reviews the amnesty offered by the ICC to any "participant" who would offer information about corruption in Sri Lankan cricket.

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Anujaya Krishna

Anujaya Krishna

Anujaya Krishna is a legal professional and sports enthusiast based out of India. She has been associated with the Sports Law team at Duane Morris and Selvam LLP, Singapore. She has authored a book entitled Sports Law and most recently got published in the Handbook on Sports Law. She has been keenly interested in Sports Law since her college days, and has several publications to her credit, in national journals as well as in international ones, such as the journal of the International Association of Sports Law, Greece.
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