Colombo: Former Sri Lanka batsman Chamara Silva has been handed a two-year ban from cricket-related activities for breaching the spirit of the game during a Tier-B first class match earlier this year, which was probed for alleged match-fixing.
Sri Lanka Cricket’s announcement came after a seven-month inquiry into events of the third day of the Panadura Cricket Club v Kalutara Physical Culture Club match played from January 23 to 25.
The SLC had initiated a probe whether the match between two clubs of neighbouring towns was fixed after 24 wickets fell on a day and in 13 overs of play while a run rate of over 10 had been maintained.
Silva, who had led Panadura, has been banned for two years from playing, coaching and administrating. He played in 11 Tests and 75 ODIs between 1999 and 2011. Captain of Kalutara club, Manoj Deshapriya was also handed the same punishment as that of Silva. The rest of the players from the two teams and their coaches have been banned for a year. Both clubs will also have to pay a fine of rupees 500,000 each.
Both clubs have influential members of the current SLC administration headed by Thilanga Sumathipala. The complaint of alleged match fixing was lodged by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, which was under Arjuna Ranatunga, the former world cup winning captain, at that time. Ranatunga was then the Minister of Ports and Shipping before becoming Petroleum Minister in May.
Ranatunga and Sumathipala are currently involved in a public slanging over the poor state of Sri Lanka’s cricket. Sumathipala has come under pressure to resign as the SLC boss after India whitewashed Sri Lanka in both Test and ODI series last month.
In another related development, the SLC last night announced a new selection panel. Graeme Labrooy, an international in the mid 1980s, has been made the head of the panel.
Other members are Gamini Wickramasingha, a former Test wicket keeper, Asanka Gurusinha, the current cricket manager, and Jerry Woutersz, an international from pre-Test era in the 1970s.