Former Sri Lanka fast bowler Nuwan Zoysa on Friday accused the International Cricket Council of announcing that he had been found guilty of match corruption without telling him first. The world organization said on Thursday that an anti-corruption tribunal had found him guilty of three offenses and that he would remain suspended until a sentence is announced. The 42-year-old, also a former national side bowling coach, was accused of agreeing to introduce players to an Indian citizen to arrange match-fixing at a tournament in the United Arab Emirates, his lawyer, Chrishmal Warnasuriya, said.
He had been suspended since an investigation was launched in 2018.
Zoysa told reporters at his attorney’s office that he should not yet be aware of the tribunal’s ruling, when it normally had to make a decision within 30 days of the end of the hearings.
“It was a shock,” he said of the ICC statement released Thursday.
“It is a deceptive and cheap ploy by the ICC to deliberately carry out such an act to tarnish my reputation and the reputation of my beloved country.”
Zoysa had been charged with “being a party to an agreement or attempting to resolve, invent or otherwise improperly influence the outcome, progress, conduct or other aspect of a competition.”
According to the ICC, four cases are still being handled under the Emirates Cricket Board’s anti-corruption code in the Golf Nation’s T10 League.
It has insisted that Zoysa be informed in accordance with usual practice and that the full verdict will be published when the tribunal confirms the sanction.
Zoysa’s lawyer, Warnasuriya, said the ICC had been on a “witch hunt” against Sri Lanka and that five other players were under investigation.
“The ACU questioned Nuwan in English, a language he is uncomfortable with, and did not allow him to speak in Sinhala. They wanted him to frame other players,” said Warnasuriya.
“After getting legal advice, Nuwan refused to involve other players and that’s when the ACU started going against him. There is a witch hunt against our players.”
Zoysa, who played in 30 Tests and 95 One-Day Internationals before retiring in 2007, said he was out of work since his suspension in October 2018.
Former Sri Lanka skipper Sanath Jayasuriya was banned for two years in October 2018 for failing to cooperate with an investigation into match fixing.
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