Sri Lanka Cricket has slapped a two-year ban on Chamara Silva after his side, Panadura Cricket Club was found guilty of an unusual scoring rate in a Tier-B first-class game against Kalutara Physical Culture Club. Other players, coaches, and administrators have been given one-year bans and fines.
Sri Lanka batsman Chamara Silva has been banned from all "cricket-related activities" for two years after the board found him guilty for his involvement in a Tier B first-class match held from January 23 to 25 between Panadura Cricket Club and Kalutara Physical Culture Club, which featured unusual scoring rates.
An inquiry committee was formed following suspicions by the board and after seven months of investigation, they have found the doubts to be true. Silva was captaining Panadura Cricket Club who were still in their first innings on the final day. Starting at 180 for 2, the side added 223 runs in 22.3 overs at a run-rate of 10.34.
Quite strangely, the remaining two innings were played at lightning pace on that same day. Kalutara were all bowled out for 197 in 22.5 overs in the second innings and around 15 overs were remaining in the match for Panadura's attempt for a win. They took just 13.4 overs to score 167 for 7 and win the game.
Of course, players, coaches and the administrators from both the sides were involved in it and all faced punishments. However, apart from Kalutara captain Manoj Deshapriya, who also face a two-year suspension like Silva, others have seen light punishments comparatively.
All others have been given one-year bans, while the clubs have each been fined 500,000 rupees (approx. USD $3300) each. The match was understandably cancelled, which means both Panadura and Kalutara face relegation while Sri Lanka Ports Authority Cricket Club earns a promotion to Tier A.
Strangely, Silva wasn’t present on the field on the final day when the activities took place but Sri Lanka Cricket board explained why that doesn’t exempt him from the punishment, as it is always the captain, who is responsible in such instances as per ICC norms.
SLC vice-president K Mathivanan told ESPNcricinfo, “For any team the captain is responsible. Whether he made the decision or not, we don't know that part. But according to the ICC rules - even for slow over-rates - the captain is responsible."
"How do you know that he didn't agree [to manipulate the result]? He could have come and given evidence in front of the independent committee [that had made the inquiry into the incident]. He never did,” said Mathivanan.
He also explained why others were penalized less severely than Silva and Deshapriya, stating, “If the independent committee has not found evidence against administrators, we can't punish them. We based [the punishment] on their findings.”
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