Former Sri Lanka player Chamara Silva has been banned for two years for misconduct during a domestic first-class match, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced on Sunday.
SLC said the match between Panadura Cricket Club and Kalutara Physical Culture Club in January this year had not been played in keeping with the spirit of the game and that players and officials on both sides had been penalised. Sri Lanka Cricket’s announcement came after a seven-month inquiry into events of the third day of the 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. The two sides had scored 587 runs on the final day despite only 180 being scored over the first two days, prompting an investigation which continued for seven months.
The captains of the two, Chamara Silva and Manoj Deshapriya were banned for two years from all cricket-related activities while the other players and managers were barred for one year, SLC said in a statement. Both clubs will also have to pay a fine of rupees 500,000 each. The match was declared void and the points table has been adjusted.
Silva, who played in all formats of international cricket for Sri Lanka up to 2011, has been banned for from playing, coaching and administrating. He played in 11 Tests and 75 ODIs between 1999 and 2011.
There had been allegations of match-fixing after Panadura won following unusual scoring on the third day of their match, but SLC said there had been no match-fixing.
“Please note that the two teams have been found guilty of misconduct and not playing to the spirit of the game, and not of match fixing,” the statement said.
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.