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HomeWORLDEx-Sri Lanka cricketer Senanayake banned from leaving country over match fixing charges

Ex-Sri Lanka cricketer Senanayake banned from leaving country over match fixing charges

Ex-Sri Lanka cricketer Senanayake banned from leaving country over match fixing charges. Image Source: IANS News

Colombo, Aug 14 : The Chief Magistrate’s Court in Colombo banned former Sri Lanka cricketer Sachithra Senanayake from travelling overseas after a probe was launched against him on charges of match fixing.

Senanayake (38), who played one Test, 49 ODIs and 24 T20 Internationals fir the island nation between 2012 and 2016, has been accused of trying to fix matches during the Lanka Premier League (LPL) in 2020.

The court prevented Senanayake from leaving the country for three months following the Attorney General’s (AG) directions to Sports Ministry’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) to press criminal charges against the former off-spinner.

The AG has ruled that sufficient materials have been found under the Prevention of Offences related to Sports Act No. 24 of 2019. The direction on framing criminal charges came following several rounds of discussions between the General Manager of International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), Alex Marshall, Sri Lankan cricket authorities, and the state attorneys representing the Attorney General.

It is alleged that Senanayake had approached two cricketers in the first edition of Lanka Premier League (LPL) in 2020 via telephone from Dubai to fix matches.

Senanayake’s case will be the first since corruption in sports was made a punishable criminal offence in Sri Lanka under the Prevention of Offences related to Sports Act in 2019.

Sri Lanka became the first country in South Asia to introduce laws on sports related offences and corruption.

However the 38-year-old former cricketer, who has taken 78 international wickets in 73 white-ball matches for Sri Lanka, had denied all the allegations, terming them as baseless charges aimed at defaming him and his family.

The cricketer has also threatened to take legal action.

In 2021, the cricketer had filed an anticipatory bail plea with the Colombo Magistrate seeking protection from arrest, which was turned down.

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