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Match-fixers, ghost cricketers turn Sri Lanka into a jukebox

by malinga
November 19, 2023 1:20 am 0 comment 2.4K views

By Callistus Davy

Head selector Pramodya Wickremasinghe discloses he was a puppet for three years concealing vital information from the ICC’s anti corruption sleuths:

A privatized administration at Sri Lanka Cricket paved the way for shady characters involved in match-fixing and players with hidden agendas to hold sway for nearly three years while officials entrusted with the welfare of the sport and team were too preoccupied with personal interests to take stock.

The accusations have been made by none other than the Sri Lanka team’s head selector Pramodya Wickremasinghe whose own scalp disgruntled cricket followers have called for after an ill-prepared outfit suffered as many as seven humiliating defeats from nine matches at the 2023 World Cup in India, the worst in recorded history for the cricket-passionate island nation.

Without naming any miscreants for reasons best known to him, Wickremasinghe instead of facing the Press made the revelations in a statement he sent out to the media four days after he dodged reporters on arrival at the airport saying he needed two days to unmask what he called conspirators.

“There are people connected to the power struggles of Sri Lanka Cricket, brokers engaged in match-fixing, gambling and people who are trying to secure their place in the national team based on mere selfishness”, Wickremasinghe said in the statement he put out for the media.

He lambasted what some call non-mainstream, random, unaccountable Social media for playing ball with the culprits for financial returns.

But Wickremasinghe having opened a can of worms is likely to bring more shame on his former superiors at Sri Lanka Cricket who in a government complied Probe Report already stand accused of corruption, financial misdeeds and nepotism that left room for an unprecedented breakdown in player discipline.

“Even those involved in match-fixing have invested money in massive campaigns in social media to get the players they want into the national cricket team. My above observation about this is true,” said Wickremasinghe in the statement.

His disclosures could also infuriate the anti-corruption unit of the International Cricket Council (ICC) whose code of conduct for players makes it an offence for cricketers or officials to even conceal any information they have about match-fixing which refers to manipulating results for money by aligning with illegal betting agents.

It was also unclear whether Wickremasinghe’s statement had a parallel with remarks made by the team’s under-fire Consultant coach Mahela Jayawardena who after everything was over confessed to the media that he accepted a squad of misfiring misfits as far as their physical fitness was concerned.

“Because of our fitness the fatigue got into us and the performance died down from the first game towards the last game. The guys made mistakes and that happens because of mental and physical fatigue,” Jayawardena said at a media parade of the World Cup squad.

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