Former Sri Lankan cricketer arrested for match fixing

Former Sri Lankan spin bowler Sachithra Senanayake was arrested by the police, marking a significant moment as he became the inaugural individual to face legal action under a 2019 law in Sri Lanka that criminalizes match-fixing.

Senanayake, aged 38, was taken into custody by a specialized police unit responsible for probing sports-related offenses. He stands accused of exerting undue influence on two players to manipulate outcomes during the 2020 Lanka Premier League (LPL).

If found guilty, Senanayake could potentially receive a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and be liable for a fine of up to 100 million rupees ($309,000).

This arrest aligns with Sri Lanka’s ongoing efforts to combat match-fixing, a problem that has plagued the nation’s cricketing integrity. The introduction of this stringent law was spurred by Sri Lanka’s former sports minister, Harin Fernando, who highlighted the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) concerns about corruption within Sri Lankan cricket.

Match fixing in the country

Moreover, former sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage disclosed in a parliamentary session in 2021 that match-fixing was rampant within the country.

The 1996 World Cup-winning captain of Sri Lanka, Arjuna Ranatunga, had, in 2012, urged fans to boycott matches as a protest against what he perceived as “mismanagement, corruption, and indiscipline” within the national team.

The arrest of Sachithra Senanayake represents a significant milestone in Sri Lanka’s campaign against match-fixing. The effectiveness of this action in deterring other players from engaging in corrupt activities remains to be seen.

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