Details of plan to fix Sri Lanka-England Test revealed by al-Jazeera

first_imgSri Lanka Cricket has pledged to cooperate fully with anti-corruption officers as the sport awaits the broadcast of an investigation by al‑Jazeera that is understood to allege details of a plan to fix England’s first Test match in Galle this November.Some footage from the documentary Cricket’s Match-Fixers, which will be televised on Sunday, has already been made public, which allegedly reveals the groundsman at Galle telling an undercover reporter he can tailor the pitch to produce a specified outcome for betting purposes. This is understood to have been alleged to have taken place before two previous Test matches in Galle, too: Sri Lanka versus India in July last year, where the tourists amassed 600 in their first innings on a pitch made to be a batting paradise, and against Australia in August 2016, when the visitors lost in two and a half days on a deliberately turning track. The International Cricket Council has already opened an investigation but also made public some frustration that the information shared by al‑Jazeera to date has been limited despite “repeated requests” for full disclosure before the programme is televised.A statement from Sri Lanka Cricket said: “SLC will extend its fullest cooperation to the ICC to investigate the latest allegations levelled via media reports over ‘match fixing’. SLC wishes to state that it has zero tolerance towards corruption and will take immediate action against any person involved in the alleged incident, if found guilty.”In the programme Robin Morris, a former Indian cricketer, is filmed telling reporters he can arrange bespoke pitches for betting purposes – his payment would be 30% of any winnings – while the stadium’s assistant manager and groundsman, Tharanga Indika, is recorded stating that he can ensure the Sri Lanka versus England Test match does not end in a draw.Morris has since denied any wrongdoing and claimed he thought he was auditioning for an acting role in a movie “for public entertainment only”, while Indika has said he was simply being courteous to foreign tourists and is similarly not corrupt.England’s winter tour to the island, in which they will play three Tests, five-one-day internationals and a one-off Twenty20, has already drawn the ire of the Barmy Army. The supporters’ group and travel company have accused Sri Lanka Cricket of “blatant profiteering and short-sighted greed” over proposed ticket prices for the Test series.The company’s latest information is that while local fans will be able to buy tickets on the grass banks for £1.41 a day those travelling are to be charged just under £50 a day for seats provided they book for the entire match, with no refund policy should it finish early.The Barmy Army website states: “This blatant profiteering and short-sighted greed does nothing to enhance Sri Lanka as a cricketing destination and ultimately we feel it is likely to do damage to the country’s reputation as a reasonably priced general tourist destination.” Since you’re here… International Cricket Council Share via Email … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. England cricket team Support The Guardian Share on LinkedIn Topics Share on Pinterest Reuse this content Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Sri Lanka wrap up series against Australia with victory in second Test Share on Twitter Al-Jazeera Cricket Read more Sri Lanka cricket team Share on Messenger The Observer newslast_img read more