27 February 2019

Sanath Jayasuriya (picture) has been banned from all cricket activities for two years after he admitted to breaching two counts of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption code.

The ICC said the former captain, who was chairman of selectors as recently as 2017, had refused to cooperate with an investigation conducted by its anti-corruption unit (ACU). It added in a statement that the 49-year-old had also been sanctioned for trying to conceal, destroy or tamper with evidence that could be crucial to anti-corruption investigation.

 Alex Marshall, the general manager of the ICC’s anti-corruption unit, said in a statement: “This conviction under the code demonstrates the importance of participants in cricket cooperating with investigations. Compelling participants to cooperate is a vital weapon in our efforts to rid our sport of corruptors. These rules are essential to maintain the integrity of our sport.”

Jayasuriya had used four mobile phones during the period of investigation. He handed over only two phones to the investigators but failed to hand over the other two. Jayasuriya said that he had lost the other two phones.

When the anti-corruption unit tried to ring one of the other numbers on the days of the two interviews and the phone had rung and gone through to an answering machine. When they tried the number again during the second interview, there was an automated response as if the phone had been switched off since the previous calls.

The ICC subsequently established that despite Jayasuriva’s assurances, the phone had been “actively used” from May 25 to October 5 2017, with a large number of outgoing texts and phone calls from the number.

The episode puts a stain on what was a stellar cricket career for Sri Lanka for nearly two decades. .

 In January, the ICC gave a 15-day amnesty as part of its investigation into corruption in Sri Lanka. The ICC said 11 players and “other participants” came forward with new information.

Jayasuriya played 110 Tests and 445 ODIs and helped Sri Lanka win the World Cup in 1996. He also played for Somerset, Lancashire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire and retired in 2012, by which time he was a Sri Lankan MP. He also became chairman of selectors in 2013 and resigned in 2017 when allegations against him surfaced. It was in the shorter form of the game that he stamped his name on cricket. Overall, Jayasuriya scored 13,428 runs in 444 one-day internationals. BBC Sports reported.