Jayawardene may sue TV channel over fixing allegations

Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene (left) is watched by Pakistani wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal as he plays a shot during the match in the World Cup tournament at The R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on February 26. Jayawardene is reportedly considering suing a state-run television network for hinting he may have helped fix a World Cup match against Pakistan.

Colombo: Mar 1, 2011

Sri Lanka’s former skipper Mahela Jayawardene is reportedly considering suing a state-run television network for hinting he may have helped fix a World Cup match against Pakistan.

Jayawardene, who lost his middle stump for just two runs in a game that Sri Lanka lost by 11 runs, was mulling legal action against the station for implying he was guilty of corruption, the BBC said.

Jayawardene’s manager told AFP on Tuesday that they were not commenting because “a formal process has been initiated.”

The state television commentary said a local businessman had placed an $18,000 bet on Sri Lanka losing the game. The TV channel speculated over whether Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera, dismissed for one, had “changed the game” by getting out cheaply and said the outcome would have been different had the pair scored more runs.

Despite high hopes coming into the match, 1996 champions Sri Lanka fell short of Pakistan’s total of 277-7, leaving thousands at a packed R. Premadasa stadium in Colombo devastated.

Governing body Sri Lanka Cricket said they had not received a formal complaint from the two players.

“We are not aware of the issue,” Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive officer Ajith Jayasekera told AFP.

Three Pakistan Test players — Salman Butt and pace bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer — were last month banned on charges of corruption relating to last year’s Lord’s Test against England. Many Sri Lankan players have been investigated by the International Cricket Council over match-fixing in the past.

AFP