Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has vowed to cooperate with the International Cricket Council (ICC) after allegations of pitch-fixing in Galle were made by TV news channel Al Jazeera.
The news channel claimed that a person involved in preparing the pitches in Galle had tailored the surfaces on the instructions of an individual involved in betting.
It is alleged that pitch-fixing occurred in Australia’s Test against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2016 and India’s Test match against Sri Lanka at the same venue last year.
It is understood that the individual was told to prepare a batting-friendly surface for the Test against India and a spin-friendly pitch for the Test against Australia.
The Al Jazeera report also alleged that England’s Test against Sri Lanka in Galle later this year will be targeted.
However, according to ESPNcricinfo, another head curator in Sri Lanka revealed that the person mentioned in the report is only in charge of temporary staff working at the stadium in Galle. The head curator added that the individual named in the pitch-fixing allegations had not been in charge during the Test matches involving Australia and India.
While the person in the report was supposedly following orders given by bettors, ESPNcricinfo reported that the Sri Lankan team had requested such pitches for the matches against Australia and India.
Nonetheless, the ICC have launched a probe into the allegations, while SLC has reiterated that they will work with the global governing body.
“The ICC is aware of an investigation into corruption in cricket by a news organisation and as you would expect we will take the contents of the programme and any allegations it may make very seriously,” Alex Marshall, ICC general manager Anti-Corruption Unit, said in a statement. “We have already launched an investigation working with anti-corruption colleagues from Member countries based on the limited information we have received.
“We have made repeated requests that all evidence and supporting materials relating to corruption in cricket is released immediately to enable us to undertake a full and comprehensive investigation.”
SLC added: “Mr Ashley de Silva, CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket is in contact with the CEO of the International Cricket Council Mr. David Richardson and the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit on the matter.
“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to state that it has zero tolerance towards corruption and will take immediate action against any person involved in the alleged incident, if found guilty.
“In the meantime, Sri Lanka Cricket is constantly engaged with the ICC and is following its guidelines on how to handle anti-corruption operations for the forthcoming tours in Sri Lanka.”