Jayawardene mulls legal action over match-fixing claims

09:54, March 03, 2011      

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Sri Lanka's cricket authorities angrily denied allegations of match-fixing made against two of their players in their World Cup defeat to Pakistan.
State television channel ITN speculated over whether Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera may have "changed the game" by getting out cheaply.
The station added a local businessman had placed an $18,000 bet on Sri Lanka losing the game.
Sri Lanka, who are one of the favorites to win the tournament, fell short of Pakistan's total of 277-7 by 11 runs on Saturday, leaving thousands at a packed R. Premadasa stadium in Colombo devastated.

"It is with deep regret that we note that a leading television channel in a special program, namely ‘Wimasuma', has stated that Sri Lanka has lost against Pakistan due to two of our leading players not getting runs in that game," Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a statement.

"Further, they added that the two players had failed intentionally, thereby implying that our players might have been involved in match-fixing," said SLC.

"SLC strongly condemns the bona fides of this anchor who hosted the program carrying a story that is baseless and thereby demoralizing our players during the ongoing World Cup."

"SLC will take up the matter with the relevant authorities of this channel, based on the fact that this channel has brought great distress to two of our cricketers who have served the country with honor and dignity," it added.

Jayawardene contributed two runs and Samaraweera one to Sri Lanka's total of 266-9.
Jayawardene was considering legal action against the station for implying he was guilty of corruption, the BBC said.

The player's manager said that they were not commenting because "a formal process has been initiated."

Sri Lankan team manager Anura Tennekoon denied there would be any inquiry from the International Cricket Council.

Source:Global Times/Agencies
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