Sri Lanka boasts a storied cricket history, marked by glorious victories and unfortunate transgressions. With a World Cup triumph in 1996 and ICC Champions Trophy and ICC T20 World Cup victories in 2002 and 2014 respectively, Sri Lanka’s cricketing prowess has shone brightly on the global stage. But players like Sachithra Senanayake have tarnished Sri Lanka’s image in the cricketing world by being involved in match-fixing controversy
The island nation has been graced by legendary cricketers who’ve etched their names in the annals of the sport. Icons like Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Muttiah Muralitharan, and Lasith Malinga have not only been cricketing marvels but also ambassadors of Sri Lanka’s cricketing heritage.
Match-Fixing Tarnishing Sri Lanka’s Reputation
However, amid the brilliance, a shadow of match-fixing has marred Sri Lanka’s cricketing reputation. Here, we shed light on three Sri Lankan cricketers entangled in the web of match-fixing.
1. Sachithra Senanayake
Sachithra Senanayake, a former Sri Lankan spinner with international and IPL experience, faced arrest due to his alleged involvement in match-fixing. Accused of enticing two players to manipulate games in the 2020 Lanka Premier League, Senanayake’s cricketing career is now under a cloud. He faces legal proceedings, having represented his country in 74 games, claiming 78 wickets since his debut in 2012.
2. Nuwan Zoysa
Nuwan Zoysa, a fiery left-arm fast bowler, represented Sri Lanka in 30 Tests and 95 ODIs. His career was beset by injuries, but his aggressive bowling and batting prowess made him a valuable asset. However, in 2018, Zoysa was provisionally suspended for breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. In 2020, he was found guilty by an ICC tribunal for attempting to fix matches in a T10 League in 2017, receiving a six-year ban.
3. Dilhara Lokuhettige
Dilhara Lokuhettige, an all-rounder with 11 appearances for Sri Lanka, faced a ban of eight years in April 2021 for violating the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. His transgressions were linked to a T10 tournament in the UAE in 2017. The ICC Anti Corruption Unit’s general manager, Alex Marshall, emphasized the severity of the ban, serving as a stern warning against corruption in cricket.
Sri Lanka’s cricketing history is a tapestry of triumphs and setbacks. While the nation cherishes the achievements of its cricketing heroes, it also confronts the challenges of maintaining the sport’s integrity in the face of match-fixing. The path forward necessitates stringent measures to preserve the sanctity of cricket and uphold the nation’s proud cricketing heritage.