Sri Lanka cricket great Jayasuriya charged with corruption

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Sanath Jayasuriya. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
Sanath Jayasuriya. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Sri Lanka great Sanath Jayasuriya became one of the most high-profile figures embroiled in corruption in cricket when he was charged Monday with two counts of disrupting an investigation.

Jayasuriya was a star of the Sri Lanka team that won the Cricket World Cup in 1996 during a playing career that spanned 22 years and took in 110 tests and 445 one-day internationals. He later served on the Sri Lankan parliament from 2010-15, and became the national team’s chairman of selectors.

His reputation could be tarnished, though, after the International Cricket Council said the 49-year-old Jayasuriya has been charged with offenses relating to the “failure or refusal” to cooperate with an investigation carried out by its anti-corruption unit, and also for “obstructing or delaying” an investigation.

He has 14 days to respond to the charge.

It wasn’t known which matches the charges relate to, or if anyone else is involved. The ICC recently said Alex Marshall, general manager of the anti-corruption unit, was overseeing a probe into potential corrupt practices over “serious allegations” in Sri Lanka.

The ICC said the first charge against Jayasuriya included the “failure to provide accurately and completely any information and/or documentation requested” by the anti-corruption unit.

The second charge included the “concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant to that investigation and/or that may be evidence or may lead to the discovery of evidence of corrupt conduct” under the anti-corruption code.

Jayasuriya, who was Sri Lanka captain from 1999-2003, amassed 6,973 runs at an average of just over 40 in tests. That puts him behind only Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in his country’s all-time list.

He scored 13,430 runs in ODIs — a total bettered only by Sangakkara, India’s Sachin Tendulkar and Australia’s Ricky Ponting — and was well known for his big hitting at the top of the order.

Jayasuriya played international cricket from 1989-2011.