Cricket: Sri Lanka suspend bowling coach over alleged fixing attempt

Sri Lankan players celebrate a wicket during their recent tour of New Zealand. Photo / Getty
Sri Lankan players celebrate a wicket during their recent tour of New Zealand. Photo / Getty

Sri Lankan cricket is again embroiled in controversy with fast bowling coach Anusha Samaranayake suspended for two months over an alleged attempt to fix a test against the West Indies.

The BBC reports he is accused of bringing in a man with no top-level cricketing experience to help the squad at training.

The allegations centre around the first test in Galle in October, which Sri Lanka won by an innings and six runs.

The British broadcaster claims wicketkeeper Kusal Perera and spin bowler Rangana Herath were offered money to lose the match.

Sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said the fee offered was 10 million Sri Lanka rupees ($108,000) to engineer a batting collapse.

The BBC alleges the man in question is net bowler Gayan Vishwajith, who has been banned for life from cricketing premises in Sri Lanka.

"Sri Lanka Cricket has received several complaints regarding a close acquaintance of Anusha Samaranayake with the main suspect Gayan Vishwajith, who had approached several national players for the alleged illegal activities of match-fixing," said a board statement.

Police have also taken statements from captain Angelo Mathews and team manager Jeryl Woutersz.

The International Cricket Council began an investigation following a complaint by Perera, who exited the New Zealand tour after failing an out-of-competition drugs test in October. He faces a four-year ban over that incident.

Jayasekera indicated the team will also be investigated for partying on the New Zealand tour, in which they lost the test, one-day and Twenty20 series.

"They have not only attended drinking parties until three and four in the morning, but there was a lot of tension and friction among members," Jayasekera told AFP.

"When they return, I want to call the team and along with Thilanga [Sumathipala, new Sri Lankan cricket president] try to find out what happened.

"My main concern is the breakdown in discipline. When that is affected, the team naturally performs badly," he said.

- NZ Herald

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