ICC resumes Lanka match-fixing probe
Published: Friday, April 27, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Colombo: The International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-corruption investigator on Friday resumed a probe into claims that two top Sri Lankan players accepted bribes to throw matches, officials said. Paul Condon, head of the ICC's anti-corruption unit, is expected to arrive at the weekend, but his investigator Bob Smalley who arrived on Thursday has already begun preparatory work. "Mr Smalley has been here before and is aware of the situation and will be making the spade work for Sir Paul's visit," a Sri Lankan Cricket Board (BCCSL) official said. Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella has vowed to cooperate with the ICC to probe allegations of match-fixing against former Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga and his deputy Aravinda de Silva. "We are supporting a full and comprehensive investigation and will cooperate fully with the ICC," Kiriella told parliament earlier this month. Ranatunga and De Silva have already made written observations regarding the allegation, first made by an Indian bookmaker, M K Gupta. Gupta had told India's Central Bureau of Investigation that he paid $ 15,000 for the Sri Lankan duo to engineer a Sri Lankan defeat in the 1994 Test against India at Lucknow. Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to its one and only World Cup victory in 1996, has categorically denied accepting bribes, while De Silva said he was approached by bookmakers, but did not accept any payment. Ranatunga has retired but De Silva is still a member of the Test team. Cricket sources said the ICC had been less than happy with the pace of investigations undertaken by Sri Lanka's Board of Control for Cricket, which was sacked and replaced by an interim panel in March. The ICC probe team was initially expected here in February, but sources said that their arrival was delayed due to Sri Lanka's Test and One-day series with England.