Former Sri Lanka captain and World Cup winner Sanath Jayasuriya was handed a two-year ban from all forms of cricket by the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption code on Tuesday. This was after Jayasuriya refused to co-operate with investigations surrounding corruption activities in Sri Lanka. Jayasuriya cannot take part in any cricket-related activity until 2021.
In a statement released on its website, the ICC revealed that Jayasuriya had admitted to breaching the following conducts-
Article 2.4.6 – Failure or refusal, without compelling justification, to cooperate with any investigation carried out by the ACU, including failure to provide accurately and completely any information and/or documentation requested by the ACU as part of such investigation.
Article 2.4.7 – 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 to that investigation and/or that may be evidence or may lead to the discovery of evidence of corrupt conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code.
According to the detailed judgement uploaded by the ICC, Jayasuriya was asked to hand over his mobile devices after ACU GM Alex Marshall was satisfied that information on the mobile devices belonging to him in the period between January 1, 2017 to 22 September, 2017 “might be relevant to the investigation.”
Marshall instructed the ACU team to “demand” the two mobile phones. On September 22, 2017, Jayasuriya informed the investigators that he had two mobile devices.
However, Jayasuriya then changed his statement on the very next day (September 23, 2017) and divulged that he had two more mobile phones which got lost between May 15 to 23/24, 2017. These two numbers had last digits of ‘888’ and ‘088’. He told the ACU officials that those two numbers were not in use.
However, Jayasuriya had no inkling that the “investigators called up on the numbers with last digits ‘888’ and the phone rang contrary to his statement.” But on the second occasion when ICC officials tried, 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.
The ACU recently gave an amnesty in relation to Sri Lanka Cricket resulting in 11 players and other participants coming forward with new information.
ICC’s General Manager Alex Marshall said, “This conviction under the Code 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.”
“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,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)