Jul 30, 2017

Toiletgate rocks Lankan cricket?

Has Lankan cricket opened another can of worms with the ‘Toiletgate’ — the latest to hit the beleaguered sporting nation?

The story goes to say that ICC anti-corruption sleuths had stormed into the toilet of the player’s dressing room looking for a device, after two senior national team players made a complaint during the ODI series against Zimbabwe.

As confirmed by a dressing-room insider to a former national player, two senior players had said that this player’s behaviour had raised suspicions and made them to complain to the relevant authorities.

The Sunday Times learns an investigation is underway now.

When the Sunday Times inquired about the incident from SLC Chief Executive Officer Ashley de Silva he said, “As far as we are concerned, we are not aware of any such incident, but these investigations are made independently by the ICC anti-corruption unit.”

At the same time there have been reverberations about certain individual who is reported to be a relative of SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala. The individual identified as Sampath Hettiarachchi has been attending team meetings during the Zimbabwe tour and subsequently barred from attending such meetings.

Ashley de Silva, however, denied any controversial aspect of the person.

De Silva said “Sampath Hettiarachchi is employed by the SLC and he is tipped to take over the SLC ‘brain centre’ which we will be commissioning soon. So to familiarise with his duties that he has to perform, he has to attend such meetings and at the same time no one has barred him from attending team meetings if and when necessary.”

This is the second occasion that the ICC anti-corruption sleuths have intervened in Sri Lanka this year. Earlier in March, at least one Sri Lanka national cricketer was interviewed by the ICC’s Anti-Corruption officials in the aftermath of Sri Lanka’s defeat to Bangladesh in the second Test at the P. Sara Oval.

However, the biggest scandal that rocked Sri Lanka cricket happened in 2010 when Sri Lanka off-spinner Suraj Randiv purposely delivered a no-ball to deprive Indian opener Virender Sehwag from scoring a certain century. The ball was hit for six, but the umpires signalled a no-ball.

Nevertheless Sri Lanka Cricket administration quickly intervened and doused the fire by imposing a one-match ban on Randiv and a heavy fine to senior player T.M. Dilshan who prompted the bowler to act in that manner. The then captain Kumar Sangakkara was also cautioned by the authorities.

By S.R. Pathiravithana

(Sundaytimes.lk)

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