Former Sri Lanka skipper Hashan Tillakaratne has said he would submit evidence of match-fixing to the International Cricket Council.
Tillekaratne made a sensational revelation that match fixing has been common in Sri Lanka’s cricket since 1992 and promised that he would come out with the names of the responsible persons in the near future.
However, acting on legal advice and owing to threats on his life, he has decided to deposit the evidence to the ICC, according to Sri Lanka’s ‘Daily Mirror’ website.
“I made the statements (about match-fixing) neither to get political mileage nor to put anyone in an awkward position,” he told reporters a day after a police inquiry was ordered into his allegations.
“I made the comments in good faith and I will share the information with the ICC. The exercise was meant to protect the game and the players we all love so much.”
Tillakaratne, who played 83 Tests and 200 one-dayers during a 15-year career, added that he had kept quiet for so many years as he feared for his life.
He had reportedly made a statement in the chamber of the Western Provincial Council, before coming out to meet a media scrum of nearly a hundred journalists who had been waiting patiently for him for hours at the gate of the council.
“I can tell this in agreement with my conscience. Match fixing is not something that started happening yesterday or today. According to my knowledge, it happened since 1992. I say this with great responsibility,” said Tillekaratne who represented Sri Lanka in 83 Tests and 200 one-day internationals between 1986 and 2004, told a Sinhala language TV talk show two weeks ago.
Tillakaratne’s allegations raised a storm, with former skipper Kumar Sangakkara challenging him to prove the claims.
Sangakkara who led the side at the World Cup stated that Tillekaratne should work with the ACSU (Anti Corruption and Security Unit) of the ICC and other authorities in Sri Lanka if he has “anything more than allegations, as it’s dangerous to throw names around”.
Another former Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardena also challenged him to come out with proof of his allegations.
Sri Lanka’s Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage directed the country police chief to investigate the allegations made by Tillakaratne, who is an opposition lawmaker in the provincial council.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Leader reported that three Sri Lankan cricketers were approached to fix a Test match in 1992.
Quoting an unnamed Sri Lanka Cricket official, the newspaper revealed Sanath Jayasuriya, Roshan Mahanama and Asanka Gurusinha had confided they had been approached by an Indian bookmaker to fix a Test match against Australia played in Sri Lanka.
Having spurned the offer, the three men reportedly then confided in Tyronne Fernando who was head of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board then.
“I am currently contracted with the International Cricket Council and so I don’t wish to comment,” said Mahanama, a ICC Match Referee, had been quoted as telling the newspaper.
Jayasuriya was not available for comment while Gurusinha is domiciled in Australia.