The International Cricket Council on Tuesday handed a two-year-ban to Sri Lanka cricketing legend Sanath Jayasuriya from all forms of cricket under the anti-corruption code. Announcing the decision, the cricket governing body released a statement on its official website stating that the cricketer had breached Article 2.4.6 and 2.4.7.
This move by ICC comes despite Jayasuriya denying that he had not co-operated in the investigation surrounding corruption activities in Sri Lanka. Following the cricketing body’s decision, he will not be allowed to participate in any cricketing activities till 2021.
However, this isn’t the first time Jayasuriya has been caught in a controversy.
Jayasuriya accused of attacking students
In June 2014, Sri Lanka’s Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) had accused Jayasuriya of leading a mob that assaulted a group of students of Ruhuna University. Reports said that the students had opposed the ruling government’s decision to hold a development exhibition within the varsity premises.
However, Jayasuriya had refuted the allegations levelled against him and said he was ‘not present’ during the assault.
An PTI report quoted the former cricketer as saying: “I am the area MP. I was only participating in a protest organised by the local residents against the university students. I did not attack anyone and was not present at the time of the alleged assault.”
Joining two teams in CAB League
In 2010, the cricketer was unable to participate in the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) league after signing contracts with two clubs that were playing the tournament.
As per reports, the former Sri Lanka skipper had signed for Kalighat Cricket Club and Mohun Bagan Athletic Club. Both clubs had to withdraw his name from their squads to put an end to the controversy. After the incident, the CAB also decided to bar foreign players from participating in local tournaments.
A PTI report quoted a CAB official as saying, “A BCCI directive issued in its last AGM has barred foreign players from playing in domestic tournaments. As per the rule, no foreign player will be allowed to take part in any of the domestic tournaments which also includes the club tournaments of the various state associations.”
A betel nut controversy
A Indian newspaper report claimed that a huge consignment, which had betel nuts worth millions of rupees, was seized by the Director of Revenue Intelligence in Nagpur in November 2018. During interrogation, one of the nabbed individuals allegedly claimed that Jayasuriya was involved.
However, the former cricketer said that he was not involved in any betel nut-related trade.
“This is absolutely false and I have never been involved in any business activity dealing with betel nut. I completely deny the contents of the article and my lawyers have already responded to this defamatory and false article,” Jayasuriya tweeted at the time.
This is absolutely false and I have never been involved in any business activity dealing with Betel Nut. I completely deny the contents of the article and my lawyers have already responded to this defamatory and false article. – Sanath Jayasuriya
— Sanath Jayasuriya (@Sanath07) November 22, 2018
Branding Bangladesh a third-class team
The virtual semi-final at the 2018 Asian Cup between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh ended on a sour note. Shakib-al-Hasan signalled the batsmen to return, and the glass door of the Bangladesh dressing room was shattered, even as Bangladesh eventually managed to win the contest by two wickets.
A defeat in such a crucial fixture, and the hostile behaviour allegedly carried out by members of the Bangladesh cricket team, left Jayasuriya fuming. The former cricketer, took to Twitter and allegedly branded the Bangladeshi cricket team as a ‘third-class team.’
— VinD (@vcd_87) 16 March 2018
However, the cricketer later deleted his tweet.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) later released a statement on the incident, in which it stated that the board ‘regrets’ the turn of events during the clash.
“The BCB regrets the unfortunate happenings during Friday’s Nidahas Trophy match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The Board accepts that conduct of the Bangladesh team in certain instances was unacceptable on a cricket field,” said the statement.
Alleged sex tape leaked
The reputation of the cricketer was hit by a sex tape, allegedly featuring him, emerged in 2017. Reports said that the video was leaked and the woman, who was reportedly Jayasuria’s ex-partner, alleged it was released by the cricketer to seek revenge.
Despite the controversy, the selection committee headed by the Sri Lankan cricketer was given an extension of six months.