Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya has been charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on two counts of breaching the Anti-Corruption Code of Conduct. Jayasuriya has been charged for breaching Article 2:4:6 and Article 2:4:7 of the Code.
The 49-year-old has not been provisionally suspended or charged for match fixing or spot fixing. His offense relates to non cooperation with investigations and withholding, concealing or destroying evidence.
Jayasuriya had two stints as Chairman of Selectors and his second tenure from June 2016 to September 2017 has come under investigations, Firstpost learnt. It has been further revealed that when ICC investigators met him on the first week of October 2017, he refused to hand over his mobile phone to the investigators and that resulted in him being charged.
Sources told Firstpost that Sri Lanka's defeat to Zimbabwe in July last year when Jayasuriya was the Chairman of Selectors may have come under the spotlight. The investigations have nothing to do with the recent Al Jazeera documentary that looked into corruption in cricket.
Jayasuriya has become the most high profile Sri Lankan to be charged under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
It is believed that Jayasuriya had reported several approaches by corrupt elements during his playing career. His 28 ODI hundreds are still the most by a Sri Lankan in a career that spanned for 22 years. He also played over 100 Test matches and the highlight of his career was being named Player of the Series when Sri Lanka won the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1996.
One of Sri Lanka's most successful captains, Jayasuriya need to respond to charges by 31 October. He is expected to hold a media briefing in Colombo later this week to clear the air. He was part of the Technical Committee assisting the Asian Cricket Council during the recent Asia Cup tournament in UAE.
The future course of action will be determined by the ICC depending on whether Jayasuriya pleads guilty or innocence to the charges. If he pleads guilty, he could be suspended from six months to five years. If he pleads innocent, an independent Judicial Commissioner will be appointed to hear the case. The ICC will have to prove their case while Jayasuriya will be allowed to defend himself through his lawyers.
Alex Marshall, the head of ICC Anti Corruption Unit and other investigators were in Sri Lanka interviewing several people including a former fast bowler, who is currently attached with SLC as a coach. A former First Class cricketer, who now functions as a Coaches' Manager was also taken in for questioning.
Former Test cricketer Jayananda Warnaweera, who was the curator of Galle International Stadium, was suspended by the ICC for three years for failure to show up for an inquiry in 2015. It is believed that leads from that investigation led to charging of Jayasuriya.
The investigators briefed Sri Lanka's players on dangers of corruption and met government officials including President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe during their recent visit to the island last week. The government had been requested to enact laws against corruption in sport to tackle wrongdoers.