Former Sri Lanka Off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake has categorically denied a report that he approached a player and attempted to entice him into corrupt practice in the inaugural Lanka Premier League tournament that will get underway today at Hambantota.
As per the media report, the player who was approached was former S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia spin bowler Tharindu Ratnayake. The ambidextrous Ratnayake bowls both left-arm orthodox spin and right-arm off-spin and represents Sinhalese Sports Club in domestic cricket. In LPL, Ratnayake represents Colombo Kings.
“I refer to several media extracts published on 24th of November 2020 and several other posts appearing on Social media by direct reference and/or innuendo trying to defame, slander and attribute on me over matters that I have absolutely no connection with.
Having obtained legal advice on same, I respond as follows.
The media extracts contained several alleged claims without mentioning my name explicitly, based on the statement made by one Tharindu Rathnayake, a fellow cricketer. I have known Mr. Rathnayake very well since 2016 as both of us play for SSC together. I have helped him on many occasions during this period as a team mate as he was trying to establish himself as a cricketer.”
I vehemently deny any connection to me over the allegations that Tharindu is said to have made in connection with the ongoing LPL and I hereby place all media and the general public on express notice that I shall be compelled to take necessary action for any publication, dissemination or sharing of such unsubstantiated and manifestly frivolous allegations bringing myself, my cricket and my family into public ridicule, shame, detriment and damage” Sachithra Senanayake’s statement, through his legal firm, reads.
The ICC said it would not discuss any ongoing investigation. The Sri Lanka board’s anti-corruption unit too declined comment. The Twenty20 tournament opens Thursday without spectators, but under the close scrutiny of the ICC anti-corruption officials, the national board and the sports ministry.
The Sri Lankan board and the ICC has conducted anti-corruption program for players and officials and set up a 24-hour hotline to report any “suspicious or corrupt activity.” The tournament will be Sri Lanka’s first top cricket since England abruptly pulled out of a two-match Test series in March as the coronavirus pandemic spread.
The start was delayed three times because of coronavirus restrictions imposed by authorities to contain the virus which has claimed 94 lives and infected nearly 21,000 people in Sri Lanka.