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Jayasuriya handed two-year ban under anti-corruption code

Last updated on: February 26, 2019 22:29 IST
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The ICC said the former captain had refused to cooperate with any investigation conducted by its anti-corruption unit (ACU) under Article 2.4.6 of the anti-corruption code.

Sanath Jayasuriya

IMAGE: Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Sri Lanka batting great Sanath Jayasuriya has been banned from all cricket for two years after breaching two counts of the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption code, the world governing body said on Tuesday.

The ICC said the former captain had refused to cooperate with any investigation conducted by its anti-corruption unit (ACU) under Article 2.4.6 of the anti-corruption code.

It added in a statement that the 49-year-old had also been sanctioned for trying to conceal, destroy or tamper with evidence that could be crucial to anti-corruption investigation under Article 2.4.7 of the code.

"This conviction under the code demonstrates the importance of participants in cricket cooperating with investigations," ICC General Manager Alex Marshall said.

"Compelling participants to cooperate under the code is a vital weapon in our efforts to rid our sport of corruptors."

Jayasuriya played 110 Tests, scoring 6,973 runs with 14 hundreds before his retirement from Test cricket in 2007.

But it was in the shorter form of the game that he stamped his name on cricket. In a formidable opening partnership with wicketkeeper-batsman Romesh Kaluwitharana, Jayasuriya was a key member of Sri Lanka's breakthrough 50-over World Cup triumph in 1996.

In all, Jayasuriya scored 13,428 runs in 444 one-day internationals. The 49-year-old was adjudged 'Player of the Tournament' during Sri Lanka's victorious 1996 World Cup campaign.

"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," Jayasuriya issued a statement after ICC imposed the sanctions.

Jayasuriya in his defence said that he has always played the game with highest integrity.

"I have always put country first and the cricket loving public are the best witnesses to this aspect. I profusely thank the public of Sri Lanka and my fans for having stood by me during this difficult period".

When asked why he admitted to the charges of having destroyed the evidence as claimed by the ICC, he said: "I accepted the charges for the greater good and to protect the integrity of cricket".

In January, the ICC granted Sri Lankan cricketers a 15-day amnesty to report previously undisclosed information relating to corruption in the sport.

"I am very grateful to those who participated in the amnesty and as a result of the information shared we now have a much clearer picture of the situation in Sri Lanka and our investigations are continuing," Marshall added.

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