Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has invited Alex Marshall, the General Manager of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit, to investigate allegations of match-fixing made in Sri Lanka’s parliament regarding the Test match against Pakistan.
The claim made by Member of Parliament Nalin Bandara is related to the first Test of Pakistan’s tour of Sri Lanka in July, when visitors chased down a target of 342 in the fourth innings, to go 1-0 up in the series.
“In the last Pakistan series, our team scored 400-odd [Sri Lanka had set a target of 342, a ground record if achieved], and still lost in the last innings. From the person who rolls the pitch, everyone has been given money. The board has become a gambling den,” Bandara was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
He didn’t offer any evidence to support his allegation, which came at the tail-end of a speech that had mostly referred to SLC’s alleged mismanagement of its players.
During the speech, Bandara also talked about an ongoing feud between himself and SLC president Shammi Silva. As his speech is covered by parliamentary privilege, it is immune to libel and defamation suits.
An SLC statement did not specifically cite Bandara, but said his comments have caused immense reputational damage to Sri Lanka Cricket and its stakeholders.
“Sri Lanka Cricket, as a full member of the ICC and mandated to uphold the integrity of the game at both the national and international level, believes that it is the correct course of action to take in light of the recent allegations made by the aforementioned parliamentarian, which have caused immense reputational damage to Sri Lanka Cricket and its stakeholders,” the SLC statement read.