10 Jan 2019

Corruption could be rife in Sri Lanka cricket - Morrison

4:22 pm on 10 January 2019
The Sri Lankan cricket ODI team.

The Sri Lankan cricket ODI team. Photo: Photosport

Former Black Cap John Morrison says the International Cricket Council's (ICC) offer of amnesty to those who report corruption by Sri Lankan players suggests it believes there's a far-reaching scandal in the country's cricketing ranks.

The sport's governing body is offering a 15-day amnesty to anyone who's previously failed to report corrupt practices in Sri Lankan cricket.

The country's cricketers have been embroiled in allegations of corruption over the past year or so.

Cricketing great Sanath Jayasuriya is among those caught up in the scandal, charged with failing to cooperate with ICC investigators and obstructing their work.

Morrison, who played 17 Tests and 18 One Day Internationals for New Zealand, said the ICC clearly suspects further corruption.

"One thing it says, really by inference, is that they believe there's a hell of a lot more than they know about going on in terms of corruption," he said.

"It's a classic case where you put out the bait like that and who comes forward might lead to other things."

The Sri Lankan team is currently in New Zealand, facing off against the Black Caps in a one-off twenty-twenty in Auckland tomorrow following their 3-0 defeat to the in-form Black Caps in the one-day series.

The amnesty will run from 16-31 January and apply to players or others who have previously failed to report approaches or incidents of corrupt conduct.

The ICC's general corruption manager Alex Marshall said this is the first time the organisation has offered an amnesty.

He said this was in response to what he called the "very specific" challenges the ICC faces in Sri Lanka.

"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.

"If any player or participant has any information concerning corrupt conduct they should come forward and share it with us now without fear of any repercussion."

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.

Under normal circumstances, failure to report corrupt practices can result in a ban from cricket of up to five years.

"We would urge any participant with any information that may demonstrate corrupt conduct affecting cricket in Sri Lanka to come forward in the strictest of confidence," Mr Marshall said.

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".

Along with Jayasuriya, 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 former paceman and bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa was provisionally suspended amid match-fixing accusations.

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

Jayasuriya has denied any wrongdoing.

- additional reporting by Reuters