COLOMBO, Jan 20, (AFP): The International Cricket Council on Wednesday imposed a three-year ban on top Sri Lankan official Jayananda Warnaweera for failing to cooperate with an anti-corruption investigation. The world governing body said Warnaweera, a former Test player who was already facing a two-year domestic ban over allegations of involvement in match-fixing, had failed to attend interviews with its anti-corruption unit (ACU).
“Warnaweera failed, on two separate occasions, to attend a scheduled interview with the ACU in relation to an ongoing investigation and failed to provide documents required from him in connection with the investigation,” the ICC said in a statement. There was no immediate comment from Warnaweera, the former curator of the Galle International Stadium.
Sri Lankan players and umpires have been accused of match fixing in the past, but this is the first time a high ranking official has been implicated. Soon after his suspension by the local board in October, there was an alleged attempt at bribing two Sri Lankan players to engineer a batting collapse and allow a shock victory for the West Indies at a Test match in Galle.
The ICC announcement came a day after Sri Lankan police questioned skipper Angelo Mathews over an attempt by another cricket official to bribe players during the Galle Test against the West Indies in October. Mathews said the police Financial Crimes Investigation Division had questioned him on an approach to two Sri Lankan players to arrange a shock defeat at the hands of the West Indies. Mathews said the players, Kusal Perera and Rangana Herath, had themselves reported the approach.
However, the police investigation was launched after Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera lodged a formal complaint. Meanwhile, controversial West Indian batsman Chris Gayle has hit back at critics of his allegedly sexist behaviour.
His Twenty20 team Melbourne Renegades fined the star opener US$7,000 two weeks ago after an attempt to flirt with a female presenter on live TV was condemned as “completely out of line” by Cricket Australia. Gayle told the Renegades’ website after his final game that he would like to return for next season’s Big Bash League, where he has been one of the top scorers.
“Definitely — always got a soft spot for Australia,” he said. “And the fans here have been very supportive. They have been really, really tremendous. “Hopefully I get a chance to entertain you guys again.” However, he also unleashed a rant against “haters” on Instagram late Tuesday amid questions over whether has played his last innings in Australia.