Colombo, February 26: Sanath Jayasuriya, who was on Tuesday banned for two years for obstructing an anti-corruption probe, termed the decision as "unfortunate", claiming that ICC has no evidence of "corruption, betting or misuse of inside information" against him.
Jayasuriya was questioned as part of the ICC's investigation of wide scale corruption in Sri Lankan cricket and charged under articles 2.4.6 and 2.4.7 of ICC's code of conduct. The Article 2.4.6 deals with "failure or refusal, without compelling justification, to cooperate with any investigation carried out by the ACU."
The Article 2.4.7 deals with "obstructing or delaying any investigation that may be carried out by the ACU, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information..."
"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."
Jayasuriya in his defence said that he has always played the game with highest integrity. "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".
When asked why he admitted to the charges of having destroyed the evidence as claimed by the ICC, he said: "I accepted the charges for the greater good and to protect the integrity of cricket".