Cricket: Match-fixing — Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Zoysa slams ICC over corruption verdict

Colombo: Former Sri Lanka fast-bowler Nuwan Zoysa on Friday accused the International Cricket Council (ICC) of announcing that he had been found guilty of match corruption without telling him first.

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The world body said Thursday that an anti-corruption tribunal had found him guilty of three offences and that he would remain suspended until a punishment is announced.

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The 42-year-old, also a former bowling coach to the national side, was accused of agreeing to introduce players to an Indian national to arrange match-fixing at a competition in the UAE, according to his lawyer, Chrishmal Warnasuriya. He had already been suspended since an investigation was launched in 2018.

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Zoysa told reporters at his lawyer’s office that he had yet to be informed of the tribunal’s verdict when normally it had to give a decision within 30 days of the end of hearings.

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“It was a shock,” he said of the ICC statement. “It is a fallacious and cheap gimmick by the ICC to perform such an act intentionally to tarnish my reputation and the reputation of my beloved country.”

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Zoysa had been charged with “being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspect of a match.”

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Four counts under the Emirates Cricket Board’s anti-corruption code in the Gulf nation’s T10 League are still being dealt with, according to the ICC.

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It has insisted that Zoysa was informed in line with usual practice and that the full judgement will be published when the tribunal confirms the sanction.

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Sri Lanka introduced a law against match-fixing last year after then-sports minister Harin Fernando declared that the ICC considered Sri Lanka the world’s most corrupt cricket nation.

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Zoysa, who played in 30 Tests and 95 one-day internationals before retiring in 2007, said he had been jobless since his suspension in October 2018.

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Sri Lanka’s former skipper Sanath Jayasuriya was banned for two years in October 2018 for failing to cooperate with a match-fixing inquiry.

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