Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya claimed that he had provided the ICC Anti-corruption unit with whatever information was demanded off him and that the cricket world body’s two-year ban on him is “unfortunate.” “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 is quoted as saying by PTI.
“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,” he said. When asked why he accepted the ICC charges on him, Jayasuriya said: “I accepted the charges for the greater good and to protect the integrity of cricket”.
It had emerged on Tuesday that Jayasuriya had admitted to obstructing an anti-corruption probe by “destroying” the phones which were sought as evidence by the ICC. The council’s detailed judgement stated that Jayasuriya had initially said that he had two mobile devices and later changed his statement to say that he had two more which got lost May 15 to May 23/24, 2017.
However, the ICC stated, investigators had called on one of the numbers and the phone rang and on the second occasion that they tried the number, there was an automated response. On October 5, when Jayasuriya was represented by his legal counsel, the player said that he had destroyed the earlier phone after a private video went viral and he was “under stress”.
But according to his lawyer, it was his driver, who retrieved the sim card and put it in another phone. It was later handed over to Jayasuriya, who then used that earlier ‘888’ sim to check text messages.
The ACU unit had proof that between March 15, 2017 and September 14, 2017, hundreds of calls and text messages were recorded on the number ending with ‘888’ which proved that the cricketer was lying.
Once his lawyer admitted that Jayasuriya had misled the investigation, he was charged with relevant sections 2.4.6 and 2.4.7 respectively.