ICC initiate alleged corruption probe in Sri Lanka cricket

ICC initiate alleged corruption probe in Sri Lanka cricket

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The ICC has confirmed that its Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) will investigate the alleged match-fixing allegations made by former cricketer P. Wickremesinghe against the national team. The move came after 40 top cricketers petitioned Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to launch an inquiry into the allegations.

In a statement issued from the global governing body’s Dubai headquarters, Alex Marshall, ICC’s general manager of the ACU, confirmed that they would be launching the investigation into the claim.

“The ICC anti-corruption unit works to uphold integrity in cricket and this includes conducting investigations where there are reasonable grounds to do so," the statement read.

“There is currently an ICC (ACU) investigation underway in Sri Lanka. Naturally, as part of this, we are talking to a number of people.”

Marshall, who had also worked as the former head of the Hampshire police force in southern England, added that the ICC would not comment further on the investigation until the report was out.

The ICC’s statement came just a day after 40 contracted national team players, including the Test and limited-overs captains, Dinesh Chandimal and Upul Tharanga, had signed a petition to SLC calling for an immediate inquiry into “shocking” allegations made by Wickremasinghe.

Wickremasinghe, a former Sri Lanka pace bowler and ex-national selector, made allegations concerning “unnatural match patterns” and player selections, and also blamed the current management for the team’s poor performance, in an interview with a local television station. The SLC statement said current players regarded Wickremasinghe’s comments as “disparaging and hurtful”.

Sri Lanka recently suffered an embarrassing series defeat against India in which they, across all formats, lost nine consecutive matches at home. The Virat Kohli-led team clinched the Test series 3-0 and then won a One-Day International series 5-0 before triumphing in the single Twenty20 International of their tour by seven wickets in Colombo earlier this month.

Wickremasignhe’s allegations are not the first fixing allegation hurled at the team in the recent times as in July, Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup-winning skipper, demanded an inquiry into the team’s defeat by India in the 2011 final in Mumbai.

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