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‘Why not cooperate?’ - Mahela Jayawardene reacts after Sanath Jayasuriya handed two-year ban

Mahela Jayawardene tweeted that if Sanath Jayasuriya loves the game then why didn’t he cooperate with the anti-corruption unit.

cricket Updated: Feb 27, 2019 15:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mahela Jayawardene,Sanath Jayasuriya,Two-year ban
File image of Mahela Jayawardene.(Getty Images)

Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has a strong message for Sanath Jayasuriya, who was on Tuesday, banned for two years after admitting to obstruct an anti-corruption probe by “destroying” the phones which were sought as evidence by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Jayasuriya admitted breaching the anti-corruption unit (ACU) code of the global body on two separate counts.

The legendary batsman said that he accepted the suspension for the “love of the sport of cricket” and to “protect the integrity” of the game. The 49-year-old was banned after he failed to co-operate with the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) of the ICC in their investigation concerning corruption in the country.

Jayawardene tweeted that if Jayasuriya loves the game then why didn’t he cooperate with the anti-corruption unit.

ACU had asked Jayasuriya to submit all his communication devices during the investigation and when the same was not done by the cricketer, the charges related to “refusing to co-operate with an ACU investigation, obstructing or delaying the investigation” were levied against him.

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In his defence, Jayasuriya said that he did not comply with the ACU instruction as the demands made were “personal” in nature.

“The circumstances surrounding the alleged failure, on my part, to provide the sim card and iPhone to the ICC ACU Officials immediately on demand were very personal in nature and a full hearing before an Anti-Corruption Tribunal would have entailed an in-depth examination on whether these surrounding circumstances would amount to a compelling justification,” Jayasuriya stated.

“Although, I subsequently provided the sim card and iPhone to the ICC ACU, in light of the on-going war against Corruption and in recognition of the fundamental sporting imperatives as contained in Article 1.1 of the Code,” he added.

Jayasuriya said that it is “unfortunate” the ACU levied breaching charges against him despite there being no “allegations of Corruption, Betting or Misuse of Inside Information” against him.

“I reiterate the fact that I have always maintained a high degree of integrity throughout my cricketing career. I have always put country first and the cricket loving public are the best witnesses to this aspect,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Feb 27, 2019 15:22 IST