ICC slaps 2-year ban on former SL cricket captain Jayasuriya

DUBAI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday banned 1996 World Cup winner and former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya from all cricket-related activities sanctioned by it or any national cricket federation till 15 October 2020.

Jayasuriya has been proven guilty after being formally been charged in October 2018 under two counts of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Code -

a) Article 2.4.6 – Failure or refusal, without compelling justification, to cooperate with any investigation carried out by the ACU, including failure to provide accurately and completely any information and/or documentation requested by the ACU as part of such investigation.

b) Article 2.4.7 – Obstructing or delaying any investigation that may be carried out by the ACU, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant to that investigation and/or that may be evidence or may lead to the discovery of evidence of corrupt conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code.

The cricketer has accepted the charges and will not appeal for the same. They are related more to Jayasuriya's tenure as Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors from April 2016 to September 2017. He stoked further controversy when his name was mentioned in the Al-Jazeera documentary ‘Cricket’s Match Fixers’ last year, that exposed corruption in Sri Lankan cricket.

It made the ICC investigate the matter further and provide a 15-day amnesty in January this year to those Sri Lankans who hadn’t provided relevant information or co-operated with the governing body on this matter.

Jayasuriya’s fate was sealed when he didn’t make the most of the amnesty. According to the ICC, he was caught stating inaccurate and wrongful information in a series of investigations its Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) carried out with the Sri Lankan in September 2017 over the number of mobile phones he possessed.

Different versions of the story only meant that the ex-cricketer was likely to have attempted hiding substantial evidence and possibly his role in corruption in the SLC.

However, in an official statement on Twitter, Jayasuriya tried to put up a brave face by maintaining his innocence and deemed the outcome ‘unfortunate’ owing to the ACU’s demand to having access to his mobile phones being ‘immediate’. It can be said that his admission to the charges might have saved him a harsher ban and potentially an expensive lawsuit.

"It is unfortunate that even though I provided the ICC ACU with all the information as demanded by the officials the ICC ACU thought it fit to charge me under the Code although there were no allegations of corruption, betting or misuse of inside information.

"I have always put country first and the cricket loving public are the best witnesses to this aspect. I profusely thank the public of Sri Lanka and my fans for having stood by me during this difficult period.

"I accepted the charges for the greater good and to protect the integrity of cricket,” the ex-Sri Lankan batsman said.

ICC ACU GM Alex Marshall said on the decision: “This conviction under the Code demonstrates the importance of participants in cricket cooperating with investigations. Compelling participants to cooperate under the Code is a vital weapon in our efforts to rid our sport of corruptors. These rules are essential to maintain the integrity of our sport.

“The amnesty has worked very well and has delivered significant new and important intelligence. This new information has assisted a number of our ongoing investigations and has resulted in some new investigations getting underway.

“I am very grateful to those who participated in the amnesty and as a result of the information shared we now have a much clearer picture of the situation in Sri Lanka and our investigations are continuing.”