Whistleblowers on Sri Lanka cricket corruption to get ‘amnesty’

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday announced a 15-day amnesty for whistleblowers who have previously failed to report corruption in the embattled sport in Sri Lanka, warning of five-year bans if they fail to come clean.

A host of scandals have rocked Sri Lankan cricket in recent years including a match-fixing controversy revealed in a sting operation carried out for a TV documentary.

The ICC anti-corruption unit has regularly investigated cases in the island nation.

A spokesman for the sport’s governing body said the amnesty will run from January 16-31.

“Both domestic and international participants are obliged to report, without delay, full details of any approaches, incident or information that they receive to engage in corrupt conduct,” he added.

“Failure to do so is a serious offence and can result in a ban from cricket of up to five years. However, under the amnesty, any information reported by a participant will not attract a charge for their failure to report previously.”

Alex Marshall, the ICC’s General Manager for Anti-Corruption, added: “This is the first time the ICC has held an amnesty and it is in response to the very specific challenges we face in Sri Lanka.

“Allowing retrospective reporting of alleged approaches to engage in corrupt conduct will assist in our ongoing and wide-ranging investigations, as well as enabling us to continue to develop a comprehensive picture of the situation there.”

The announcement of the amnesty came just a week after Sri Lanka was rated as the most corrupt cricket nation by the world governing body.

The ICC Council feels “Sri Lanka’s cricket administration is corrupt from top to bottom”, said sports minister Harin Fernando.

The crisis-ridden Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is to hold delayed elections in February, which were due last May when the term of president Thilanga Sumathipala ended.

Sumathipala has been accused of violating ICC rules by holding office despite alleged links to gambling. He denies the charges.

In November, former Sri Lankan fast bowler Dilhara Lokuhettige was suspended for corruption during a limited-over league in 2017.

Lokuhettige was the third Sri Lankan player charged for violating the anti-corruption code following cases against former captain and ex-chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya and former paceman Nuwan Zoysa.

Jayasuriya was charged for failing to cooperate with a match-fixing probe and concealing information. Zoysa was suspended over match-fixing accusations. (Courtesy AFP)

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