In a shocking revelation, the curator of Galle International Stadium, Tharanga Indika, was caught on camera in a sting operation, admitting to doctor the pitch for result-oriented outcomes for the benefit of bookmakers.
Along with Indika, a Mumbai-based former professional cricketer Robin Morris and Tharindu Mendis, a professional player from Colombo, were also seen discussing how to change pitch conditions with an undercover reporter to favour certain bookmakers, who place bets on the result of the game.
The investigation was conducted by Al Jazeera and the documentary "Cricket's Match-Fixers" will be aired on their channel this Sunday.
According to the report in Al Jazeera, the documentary showed that the trio was already successful in fixing two Tests and were planning to do the same for the third time. The two fixed matches were Sri Lanka versus India in July last year and when hosts played Australia in August 2016. Both matches were played at the Galle International Stadium. For the third time, they were planning to fix England's Test against Sri Lanka which is scheduled to take at Galle in November.
In the documentary, Morris was seen pointing towards Indika, and saying, "What happens is he – we – can make a pitch to do whatever we want it to do. Because he’s the main curator. He is the assistant manager and curator of the Galle stadium."
Indika also revealed about how he made the pitch for the Australia Test to make sure that the match doesn't last five days. In that Test, Australia were bowled out for 106 and 183 and went out to lose the game by 229 runs. They also revealed that during the 2017 Test against India, the pitch was prepared for a high first-innings score and it happened exactly that with India scoring 600 runs, and as a result, the bookmakers earned a huge profit.
Morris also added that the groundsman was paid $37,000 for doctoring the pitch and no money will be taken upfront, but their involvement meant they will take 30 percent of the winnings.
The ICC has started the investigation on the basis of the documentary, saying, "will take the contents of the programme and any allegations it may make very seriously. We are working with anti-corruption colleagues from member countries based on the limited information we have received."
After the latest development, there are doubts whether England will tour to the Island nation in October.
Recently, the curator of Pune's Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pandurang Salgaoncar, was suspended by the BCCI after he made claims of tampering with the track in a sting operation ahead of the second ODI between India and New Zealand.
After ICC's enquiry, Salgaonkar was cleared of all the serious charges, but was banned for six months for failing to report the incident.
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