Sri Lanka batting great Sanath Jayasuriya has been banned from all cricket for two years after breaching two counts of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption code, the world governing body said on Tuesday.
The ICC said the former captain and chairman of selectors had refused to cooperate with any investigation conducted by its anti-corruption unit (ACU) under Article 2.4.6 of the anti-corruption code.
It added in a statement that the 49-year-old had also been sanctioned for trying to conceal, destroy or tamper with evidence that could be crucial to anti-corruption investigation under Article 2.4.7 of the code.
“This conviction under the code demonstrates the importance of participants in cricket cooperating with investigations,” ICC General Manager Alex Marshall said.
“Compelling participants to cooperate under the code is a vital weapon in our efforts to rid our sport of corruptors.”
Jayasuriya later issued a statement saying that although he had admitted the charges for the good of the game, he was keen to emphasise there were “no allegations of corruption, betting or misuse of inside information”.
“I reiterate the fact that I have always maintained a high degree of integrity throughout my cricketing career,” he posted on his Facebook page.
“I have always put country first and the cricket loving public are the best witnesses to this aspect.
“I profusely thank the public of Sri Lanka and my fans for having stood by me during this difficult period.”
Jayasuriya played 110 tests, scoring 6,973 runs with 14 hundreds before his retirement from the longest format in 2007.
It was in the shorter form of the game that he really stamped his name on cricket, though.
In a formidable opening partnership with wicketkeeper-batsman Romesh Kaluwitharana, Jayasuriya was a key member of Sri Lanka’s breakthrough 50-over World Cup triumph in 1996.
In all, Jayasuriya scored 13,430 runs in 445 one-day internationals.
In January, the ICC granted Sri Lankan cricketers a 15-day amnesty to report previously undisclosed information relating to corruption in the sport.
“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,” Marshall added.