The higher authority of the world Cricket, International Cricket Council (ICC), has banned Sanath Jayasuriya from all cricket for two years for breaching two counts of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code on Tuesday. The Lankan cricket legend had accepted the sanction, source ICC.
Jayasuriya had not engaged in any corrupt activity. ICC banned him due to breaching Article 2.4.6- failing or refusing to co-operate with the ACU and Article 2.4.7 -obstructing or delaying any investigation by the ACU, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or information or evidence of corrupt conduct. The charge was laid on him last October when he wouldn't hand over his mobile devices when he was asked for them.
The conviction of Jayasuriya is the latest part of a much broader ICC ACU investigation into corruption in Sri Lanka Cricket. The ACU recently held an amnesty in relation to the country’s cricket resulting in eleven players and other participants coming forward with new information.
ICC General Manager Alex Marshall wrote in a statement: “This conviction under the Code demonstrates the importance of participants in cricket cooperating with investigations. Compelling participants to cooperate under the Code is a vital weapon in our efforts to rid our sport of corruptors. These rules are essential to maintain the integrity of our sport.”
He further added: “The amnesty has worked very well and has delivered significant new and important intelligence. This new information has assisted a number of our ongoing investigations and has resulted in some new investigations getting underway. I am very grateful to those who participated in the amnesty and as a result of the information shared we now have a much clearer picture of the situation in Sri Lanka and our investigations are continuing.”
However, the former Sri Lanka Cricket Chair of Selectors said that he accepted the ban because of his "love" for the cricket. Jayasuriya wrote in a statement released to the media immediately, as a reaction of the ICC’s sanction (which was later shared on his Twitter account): "I decided to admit the said charges at the first instance for the love of the Sport of Cricket, for the greater good and to protect the integrity of the Sport of Cricket. The purported finding of the ACU stems from an alleged failure, on my part, to cooperate with the investigation carried out by the ACU by not providing a sim card and iPhone immediately on demand to the ICC ACU Officials. It is clear that there were no Corruption charges, Betting charges or Misuse of Inside Information charges levelled against me under the Code."
He further added: "The circumstances surrounding the alleged failure, on my part, to provide the sim card and iPhone to the ICC ACU Officials immediately on demand were very personal in nature and a full hearing before an Anti-Corruption Tribunal would have entailed an in-depth examination on whether these surrounding circumstances would amount to a compelling justification. Although, I subsequently provided the sim card and iPhone to the ICC ACU, in light of the on-going war against Corruption and in recognition of the fundamental sporting imperatives as contained in Article 1.1 of the Code, I decided to admit the said charges at the first instance for the love of the Sport of Cricket, for the greater good and to protect the integrity of the Sport of Cricket."
The legend concluded his statement by saying this: "I reiterate the fact that I have always maintained a high degree of integrity throughout my cricketing career. I have always put country first and the cricket loving public are the best witnesses to this aspect."
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