Off The Field

Avishka Gunawardene, Nuwan Zoysa Cases stalled due to ICC and ECB delays

Written by Sumit Seth

The cases against former Sri Lanka cricketers Nuwan Zoysa, Dilhara Lokuhetige, Avishka Gunawardene and computer analyst Sanath Jayasundara have been on-going since last year, but due to the incompetence of International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) and Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), still there is NO outright verdict on any of the case

Cricket Age understand that according to Article 5.1.4 of ICC and ECB Anti-Corruption Codes, a full hearing should be held no later than 40 days after the preliminary hearing.

The preliminary hearing of three of these cases took place on 12th September 2019 – over 450 days ago, up to date. In another case, the preliminary hearing was held on 7th August 2019 – which is over 480 days ago, up to date. However the players are yet to be informed of a possible timeline or date for these hearings.

In the case of Zoysa, ICC codes stipulate that a decision must be made within 30 days, from the date of the conclusion of the hearing. This conclusion took place on 18th September 2020. It has since been over 85 days with no decision been given by the tribunal. However, the ICC has proceeded to publish such an unpronounced verdict on 19th November 2020, claiming that the said verdict was by the ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal. This is in complete disregard and violation of procedure.

Cricket Age understands that a press conference will be held on Friday 18th December 2020, 1 PM at Finghara Sports Club, to provide a clear picture on the matter.

In May 2019, Gunawardene, along with Zoysa and another former player Dilhara Lokuhettige, was charged by the ICC under the Emirates Board Anti-corruption Code. The charges relate to the T10 Cricket League played in the UAE in December 2017. Former Sri Lanka national team analyst Sanath Jaysundara, meanwhile, was charged by the ICC for offering bribe to then Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Harin Fernando, in order to “influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of an international match”.

Since then, however, the incompetent Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has just been keeping them in wilderness, only because they have asked some very basic questions – whether the T10 league 2017 edition was ICC sanctioned or not? Whether the team that participated in the league from Sri Lanka was approved by the then Sports Minister and selected by the then selection committee or not? And, why only Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) CEO Ashley De Silva was handling everything related to that league on behalf of the cricket board?




About the author

Sumit Seth