LISTEN: Full script of Episode 152 of Spodcast where we discuss Sanath Jayasuriya's ban, Manu Bhaker-Heena Sidhu's ouster and more

  • Former skipper and star batsman Sanath Jayasuriya was, on Tuesday, banned from all cricket-related activities by the ICC for a period of two years.

  • South African cricketer Duanne Olivier has chosen to end to his international career with his home country after signing a three-year deal with Yorkshire

  • Indian shooters Bhaker and Sidhu disappointed fans, performing below expectations. They failed to qualify for the final of women's 10m air pistol

Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.

The problems in Sri Lankan Cricket look far from finished. Former skipper and star batsman Sanath Jayasuriya was, on Tuesday, banned from all cricket-related activities by the ICC for a period of two years. Jayasuriya admitted to breaching two counts of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code. He had refused to cooperate with the Anti-Corruption Unit last year, even declining to hand over his phone. He was then charged with two offences under Article 2.4.6 and 2.4.7 of the anti-corruption code, which deal with "Failure or refusal, without compelling justification, to cooperate with any investigation carried out by the ACU", and "Obstructing or delaying any investigation that may be carried out by the ACU, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant…"

However, he was spared the maximum punishment of five years after the world body took his "previous good conduct" into account. Jayasuriya's sanction will be a backdated one starting from 16 October, 2018.

Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager - ACU, said, "This conviction...demonstrates the importance of participants in cricket cooperating with investigations. Compelling participants to cooperate under the Code is a vital weapon in our efforts to rid our sport of corruptors. These rules are essential to maintain the integrity of our sport."

49-year-old Jayasuriya released a statement that said, "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."

South African cricketer Duanne Olivier, who made waves in Test cricket recently, has chosen to end to his international career with his home country after signing a three-year deal with English county side Yorkshire, pending clearance of Kolpak regulations.

The 26-year-old has been one of the most potent pacers in international cricket of late, having claimed 31 wickets in five Tests since being recalled by South Africa in December. His Test debut was in January 2017, but he did not have a decent run until December 2018 when he was included for the series against Pakistan. He took 24 wickets in the three Tests in that series, winning Player of the Series.

Olivier posted on his Instagram account, "My decision might be difficult for some to understand but being a professional cricket player is a short-lived career and in order for me to make the most of all my opportunities, I had to consider all my options.
He told the media, "I came over to the UK last year and thoroughly enjoyed my time playing county cricket...I have since realised I could happily base myself there for the foreseeable future."

The Kolpak rule allows citizens of countries that are part of European Union Association Agreements, which are free trade treaties between the EU and other countries, to have the same rights as EU citizens to work in any EU country. This means cricketers from countries with such treaties with the EU can play cricket in any EU country without being considered an overseas player. For instance, they are allowed to sign with English county sides without having to be fielded as overseas cricketers.
Explained his decision, Olivier said, "I was originally looking to come back as an overseas player but when I got a long-term offer from Yorkshire as a Kolpak I knew that signing for the club would be the best option for both myself and my family. I am a bowler that wants to keep pushing myself to see how far I can go and as I enter my prime I want to be in the best possible situation to grow. Another big reason was the longevity of my career."

He added, "I would be lying if I said this wasn't a difficult decision to make...It's giving up playing for my country with no guarantees of playing international cricket again. But at the end of the day, I needed to be true to myself. I've only got this one chance to see where my talent can take me and Yorkshire just felt right to me."

Cricket South Africa Chief Executive Thabang Moroe said, "We find it extremely disappointing that Duanne has taken this step after all the opportunities we have given him, particularly over the past season and going forward, to live his dream of being an international cricketer...If one looks at the bigger picture this is not good news for the global game either that a player who has just broken into the top 20 on the ICC Test match bowling rankings for the first time should opt effectively to bring down the curtain on his international career in favour of playing only in domestic leagues."

South Africa's head coach Ottis Gibson said, "We held several meetings with him regarding his future with the Proteas throughout the summer and even offered him a two-year contract. To see him cut short a promising international career is disappointing. Ultimately, it was a decision we could not control despite our best efforts."

An update from the ongoing ISSF Shooting World Cup in Delhi. Indian shooters Manu Bhaker and Heena Sidhu disappointed fans, performing below expectations. They failed to qualify for the final of women's 10m air pistol on what was a lacklustre day for India in the World Cup. Gaayathri Nityanandam and Sunidhi Chauhan also failed to make the cut in the 50m rifle 3 positions.

Hoping to make up for the meltdown in the 25m pistol final, 17-year-old Bhaker was in for more disappointment, finishing a poor 14th with 573 in the qualifications. Hungary's Veronika Majo, who scored 245.1points, won the gold medal in 10am air pistol. Taipei's Chia Ying Wu scored 238.4 points to finish second while South Korean Bomi Kim won the bronze. Nina Christen from Switzerland won the 50m rifle 3 positions event with a score of 457.1 points, beating silver medallist Shi Mengyao of China and Kazakhstan's bronze winner Yelizaveta Korol. The two Olympic quota places went to Switzerland and the China.

An update from the Premier League now. Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga had made a big mistake refusing to be substituted during the League Cup final but he was young and the club's intention was not to "kill him".

Kepa, the club's record £71 million signing from Athletic Bilbao, refused to leave the field to be replaced by Willy Caballero during the final. Sarri then stormed off down the tunnel in anger before returning. Chelsea eventually lost to Manchester City on penalties.

Sarri confirmed that 24-year-old Kepa would be fined a week's wages for the incident. He said, "I spoke with...Kepa, of course. Then we spoke all together, because he said sorry to the technical staff, but it was not enough...he said sorry to his teammates, to the club. I think he made a big mistake, but we need to be taller. We don't want to kill him. So there is a position from the club. For me the situation is finished. He is a young player he made a mistake, but stop."

Sarri denied Kepa's petulance reflected a greater malaise that he had lost the dressing room. He countered, "Did you see the match on Sunday? So you have the answer. After the game is the same. I think better." He also insisted, "I am not under pressure. For me the pressure is a normal pressure."

Updated Date: Feb 27, 2019 15:07:12 IST