ICC Probes Pitch-Fixing Case Involving India-Sri Lanka Test

AASTHA SINGAL | 0
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| May 26 , 2018 , 18:52 IST

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has launched an investigation into corruption allegations in the sport made in a documentary to be aired by news organisation Al Jazeera on Sunday. The documentary allegedly uncovers a groundsman agreeing to doctor pitches for test matches.

"The ICC is aware of an investigation into corruption in cricket by a news organisation and as you would expect we will take the contents of the programme and any allegations it may make very seriously," the governing cricket body said in a statement.

Al Jazeera has claimed that a well-known former Mumbai first-class cricketer Robin Morris, who is now allegedly a match-fixer, admitted to his involvement in bribing a groundsman at Galle last year to alter the pitch. Snippets of the sting operation have been posted online by the channel.

A Test match between India and Sri Lanka last year might have been played on a pitch doctored at the behest of match-fixers, a sting operation has claimed, prompting the ICC to launch an investigation into the matter on Saturday.

The match in question was the first Test between India and Sri Lanka at Galle from July 26-29. ICC has confirmed about investigating the latest round of sensational allegations against the integrity of the much-maligned sport.

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"We have already launched an investigation working with anti-corruption colleagues from Member countries based on the limited information we have received," ICC GM (Anti Corruption Unit) Alex Marshall said in a statement.

"We have made repeated requests that all evidence and supporting materials relating to corruption in cricket is released immediately to enable us to undertake a full and comprehensive investigation," he added.

"The groundsman, Tharanga Indika, assistant manager at the Galle stadium, says he can make pitches to favour either bowlers or batsmen. If you want a pitch for spin bowling or pace bowling or batting, it can be done," the channel claimed on its website.

In the clipping, the 41-year-old Morris, who played 42 first-class matches but never competed for India, gestures towards Indika and says, "What happens is he - we - can make a pitch to do whatever we want it to do."

"Because he's the main curator. He is the assistant manager and curator of the Galle stadium," the website quotes Morris. Indika allegedly claimed to the website that he prepared the pitch for the batsmen and told the undercover reporter that he will provide him with leads to place bets.

"India was set for a batting wicket. We pressed the wicket thoroughly with a roller and then we put water on it to make it even harder," the former India U-19 seamer-all-rounder has been quoted as saying in the sting video adding that the next "pitch fix" will be during England's tour of Sri Lanka in November, this year at the same venue.