11 Jan 2019

Cricket: Malinga questions ICC amnesty

9:51 am on 11 January 2019

The Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga doesn't believe players should get an amnesty if they come forward to report previously undisclosed information relating to corruption in the sport.

Cricket's international governing body, the ICC, has given Sri Lankan cricketers a 15-day amnesty to report anything they may know about corruption and comes in the wake of a series of cases involving former Sri Lanka internationals and administrators.

Sri Lankan cricketing great Sanath Jayasuriya is among those caught up in the scandal.

He's been charged over his refusal to cooperate with the anti-corruption officials and for obstructing or delaying their investigation.

Jayasuriya, also a former chairperson of selectors and an ex-Sri Lanka government minister, was accused of failing to co-operate with an investigation and "concealing, tampering with or destroying evidence", but issued a statement saying he had always acted with "integrity".

Sri Lanka T20 captain and fast bowler Lasith Malinga will miss the two games against the Black Caps.

Sri Lanka limited overs captain Lasith Malinga Photo: Photosport

But Malinga says if players have information they should come foward so cheats can be expelled from the game as cricket followers need to know matches aren't fixed.

"I don't know why they are giving that opportunity (the amnesty)....if they catch people they should punish them straight away - otherwise people have a guilty mind (that a game they are watching in't genuine) and cricket is going nowhere," he said.

Malinga said the team has yet to sit down and discuss the ICC statement.

Players can be suspended for failing to pass on information about corruption but anything reported between January 16-31 will not attract a charge, the ICC said in a statement.

Failure to do so, however, could result in a ban from cricket for up to five years.

"This is the first time the ICC has held an amnesty and it is in response to the very specific challenges we face in Sri Lanka," the general manager of the ICC's anti-corruption unit Alex Marshall said.

"Allowing retrospective reporting of alleged approaches to engage in corrupt conduct will assist in our ongoing and wide-ranging investigations, as well as enabling us to continue to develop a comprehensive picture of the situation there."

Following a meeting in Dubai last month, Sri Lanka's sports minister Harin Fernando said the ICC had ranked the country's cricket administration "corrupt from top to bottom".

Former Sri Lankan bowler Dilhara Lokuhettige was charged last year for violating the anti-corruption code relating to a 10-over league in the United Arab Emirates, while the country's former paceman and bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa was provisionally suspended by Sri Lanka Cricket over match-fixing accusations.

Neither Lokuhettige nor Zoysa has responded publicly to the charges against them.

The Sri Lankan national team is currently touring New Zealand, having suffered a 3-0 defeat to New Zealand's Black Caps in the One Day International series.

A one-off Twenty20 match between the two teams is taking place at Auckland's Eden Park tomorrow and New Zealand Cricket is warning fans to be wary of buying fake tickets to the game.

New Zealand Cricket general manager Graham Parks says they've been made aware of fake tickets being sold on-line by website Viagogo.

Parks said the tickets are being sold at highly inflated prices.

He said fans should buy tickets through New Zealand Cricket authorised ticket agent Ticketek.

"The last thing NZC wants to see is cricket fans being ripped off and disappointed by unscrupulous resellers," he said.

"The best way to avoid that is to buy through the authorised agents."

Mr Parks also warned those who might be offered full adult tickets at what seemed like bargain prices to beware of scammers.

"We noticed last summer people had been on-sold, or had bought children's tickets under the mistaken belief they would admit an adult," he said.

"It's something we now have to monitor at all game."

The warning follows similar issues being raised for various events in New Zealand, including All Blacks Tests, the ASB Tennis Classic, and concerts from Celine Dion, Ed Sheeran, Shania Twain and Bruno Mars.

In response Viagogo said: "The tickets sold on viagogo's platform are genuine tickets that have been sold on by the original ticket purchaser in good faith.

"Viagogo is a marketplace and doesn't buy or sell tickets. Viagogo provides a platform for third party sellers to sell tickets to event goers. Viagogo does not set ticket prices, sellers set their own prices, which may be above or below the original face value. Where demand is high and tickets are limited, prices increase."

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