Match-fixing now a criminal offence in Sri Lanka

Filed on November 12, 2019
Sanath Jayasuriya

Sanath Jayasuriya was banned for two years for failing to cooperate with the ICC in a fixing probe

In a first in South Asia, Sri Lanka has criminalised several offences related to match-fixing in an attempt to stamp out the corruption scandals that have plagued the national team in the past few years.

The Sri Lanka Parliament has passed all three readings of a bill entitled "Prevention of Offences Related to Sports" in which offences related to corruption in sports will carry a prison term of up to 10 years, as well as various fines, reports ESPNcricinfo.

Sports Minister Harin Fernando presented the bill in Parliament on Monday and it was supported by former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga, who is now a Cabinet Minister.

The bill not only seeks to punish "any person related to a sport" who is directly involved in fixing, but also those who "provide...inside information", curators who prepare playing surfaces to suit betting operators, and match officials who "deliberately misapply the rules" for money.

In addition, it is now also illegal for former players (and others involved in sports) to provide corrupt figures access to current players.

Former Sri Lankan fast bowler Dilhara Lokuhettige was last year suspended for corruption in a limited-overs league in 2017. Before that, charges for violating ICC's anti-corruption code were also leveled against former captain Sanath Jayasuriya and former pacer Nuwan Zoysa.

Jayasuriya was slapped a two-year ban for failing to cooperate with the ICC in a match-fixing probe, while Zoysa got a suspension for his alleged involvement in match fixing.


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