Sri Lanka Cricket to Investigate Sammy Kandage cricket visa scam

Written by N Krishnamurthy

The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided to Investigate unknown local players cricket visa scam, which was busted by the Australia’s Herald Sun earlier this week, Cricket Age reliably learns.

Cricket Age had published yesterday (October 29) with Herald Sun credit, that Sammy Kandage, a Sri Lanka born players agent, who lives in Melbourne now, has come under heavy scanner for obtaining Sports visa’s by unethical methods for first class cricketers from his motherland to provide them a chance to play club cricket in states like Victoria. Kandage, along with one of his colleague, has been accused for demanding thousands of dollars from the players to help in securing visas by allegedly doctoring their career profiles, so they can gain entry to Australia.

“We have decided to setup an investigation to find out whether if board employees are  involved in this big scam. The board president Mr. Shammi Silva has taken these malpractices very seriously and if found guilty, no one will be spared” a top SLC official told Cricket Age. 

A Sri Lankan player – who said he “now hated the game” after his deeply traumatic Melbourne experience – has claimed that he had played just one first class game in Sri Lanka before scoring a sports visa through agent Saman “Sammy” Kandage of SK Sports to play cricket in Victoria.

He handed over $10,000 on arrival at Melbourne Airport late last year and was then provided with accommodation through the same agent in a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home with 16 other people. He described the living conditions as “like a refugee camp” and at times he feared for his life, he said.

“$10,000 is huge money in Sri Lanka,” the player, who is too scared to be named, said.

The 23 year-old, from Sri Lanka’s southwest coast, said the agent had brought about 70 young Sri Lankan cricket players to Victoria last season.

The frauds have been committed in establishing fake first class profiles also, in order to play club cricket in Australia. The Cricket Australia only gives its support to visa applications, via a letter, after seeing proof of players’ superior cricket skills. Players must first show statistical evidence via international cricket database to prove they have played first class cricket in their country, as an indication that they can play, coach or instruct at the Australian national level.

Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria have also said that they were “deeply concerned” by the allegations, brought to light through explosive revelations

“There is no place for the mistreatment of players who come to play cricket in Australia, at any level. The alleged behavior of so-called ‘player agents’ is deeply concerning, and is not something that Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria condone in any way.

“We take these allegations very seriously and will be taking immediate action to support any investigation and the players involved,” a spokesman said.

It’s understood Australian Border Force is now also making inquiries, on the back of the explosive revelations, and could refer the matter to Australian Federal Police.

About the author

N Krishnamurthy