Thatscricket - News - Lanka Board seeks 3 weeks for fix report
Published: Saturday, February 10, 2001, 21:15 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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Colombo: Sri Lanka's Cricket Board said on Monday that it needed three weeks for a final ruling on the outcome of a match-fixing probe against former Test skipper Arjuna Ranatunga and his deputy Aravinda de Silva.The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) said the findings, made public Sunday by the lone investigator who "cleared" the two players, could not be considered as final.The BCCSL's interim president Vijaya Malalasekara said the Board had agreed to keep the International Cricket Council (ICC) informed before going public on the inquiry conducted by investigator Desmond Fernando.In a report leaked on Sunday, Fernando said Ranatunga and De Silva were cleared of match-fixing charges due to "inadequate and untested" evidence and that he was completely satisfied with their testimony.However, the BCCSL's Malalasekara underlined that it was too early to presume the two had been cleared."A final ruling will be made by the local body. We have to satisfy ourselves first and we don't want to go public before informing the ICC because there are international ramifications to this," Malalasekara said.He said he received Desmond Fernando's "interim report" on Friday, but needed another three weeks to study it, make a recommendation to the BCCSL and then inform the ICC's anti-corruption panel headed by Sir Paul Condon.Fernando, a lawyer by profession and Sri Lanka's representative in the Code of Conduct Committee of the ICC, made his report after an eight-month investigation.The allegations against the two Sri Lankan players were contained in a report by India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which had looked into charges against players in that country.An Indian bookmaker, Mukesh Gupta, had claimed that Ranatunga and De Silva helped him fix an Indian victory in the Lucknow Test in 1994.Ranatunga has flatly denied the charges of corruption while de Silva has maintained he never took bribes, although he admitted he was approached by bookmakers.Gupta had said De Silva was paid $ 15,000, but it was unclear in his allegations if money was supposed to have been handed to Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to victory in the 1996 World Cup.Fernando concluded there was insufficient evidence against the two top players."I reiterate that Gupta's statement was inadequate, untested and had infirmities which rendered his statement impossible to be acted upon," Fernando said, adding that bookmaker Gupta refused to be interviewed.