Dubai, October 31: Sri Lanka's bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa was on Wednesday (October 31) suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and charged with match-fixing, compounding the crisis that has gripped the game in the island nation.
Just days before the Lankans take the field against England in a Test series, Zoysa has been charged with articles which relate to match-fixing and encouraging players to influence results. "Mr Zoysa has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect. Mr Zoysa has 14 days from 1 November 2018 to respond to the charges. The ICC will not make any further comment in respect of these charges at this stage," said an ICC release without getting into the specifics of what Zoysa could have done to invite the charge.
The ICC is currently conducting a full-scale investigation into the alleged corrupt activities in Sri Lankan cricket. It recently charged World Cup-winning batting legend Sanath Jayasuriya with non-cooperation in the probe. Former left-arm seamer Zoysa, who played 30 Tests and 95 ODIs for Sri Lanka, was appointed Sri Lanka's bowling coach in September 2015.
According to the ICC statement, Zoysa has been charged with breach of article 2.1.1, 2.1.4 and 2.4.4. Article 2.1.1 relates to being party to an effort to "fix or contrive or to otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspects of an International match". While, Article 2.1.4 deals with any act of "directly soliciting, inducing, enticing or encouraging a player to breach Code Article 2.1.1", Article 2.4.4 relates to failure to disclose details of any corrupt approaches.
Sri Lanka, who lost the rain-hit ODI series against England 1-3 and also the lone Twenty20, are scheduled to begin the three-Test series at Galle on November 6. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) earlier suspended Galle groundsman Tharanga Indika and professional cricketer Tharindu Mendis, who allegedly spoke about fixing the pitch to ensure a result in under four days in a sting operation by a TV channel.
SLC also suspended provincial coach Jeevantha Kulathunga in the same case. The channel has, however, not shared the raw footage of its documentary with the ICC despite repeated requests. In 2016, Galle curator Jayananda Warnaweera was suspended for failing to cooperate with the ICC's anti-corruption probe. The 55-year-old Warnaweera played 10 Tests for Sri Lanka between 1986 and 1994.