Former Sri Lankan fast pitcher Nuwan Zoysa on Friday accused the International Cricket Council of announcing he had been convicted of match bribery without telling him first. The global body said Thursday that an anti-corruption court found him guilty of three offenses and that he would remain suspended until a sanction is announced. The 42-year-old, also a former national team bowling coach, has been accused of agreeing to introduce players to an Indian national to set up match-fixing at a tournament in the United Arab Emirates, his lawyer says , Chrishmal Warnasuriya.
He had already been suspended since an investigation was opened in 2018.
Zoysa told reporters from his lawyer’s office that he had not yet been informed of the court’s verdict when he was expected to render a decision within 30 days of the end of hearings.
“It was a shock,” he said of the ICC statement released on Thursday.
“It is a fallacious and cheap trick of the ICC to perform such an act intentionally to tarnish my reputation and the reputation of my beloved country.”
Zoysa had been accused of “being a party to an agreement or an effort to fix or improperly organize or influence the outcome, progression, conduct or any other aspect of a match”.
According to the ICC, four charges under the Emirates Cricket Board’s anti-corruption code in the Gulf country’s T10 League are still pending.
He insisted that Zoysa had been informed in accordance with usual practice and that the full judgment would be released when the court upheld the sanction.
Zoysa’s attorney, Warnasuriya, said the ICC had conducted a “witch hunt” on Sri Lanka and five other players were under investigation.
Sri Lanka introduced an anti-match-fixing law last year after then-sports minister Harin Fernando said the ICC considered Sri Lanka the most corrupt cricket nation in the world.
“The ACU questioned Nuwan in English, a language he is not comfortable with, and did not allow him to speak Sinhala. They wanted him to mentor other players,” Warnasuriya said. .
“After getting legal advice, Nuwan refused to involve other players and that’s when the ACU started fighting him. There is a witch hunt against our players. “
Zoysa, who played 30 tests and 95 international one-day matches before retiring in 2007, said he had been out of work since his suspension in October 2018.
Former Sri Lankan skipper Sanath Jayasuriya was banned for two years in October 2018 for failing to cooperate with a match-fixing investigation.
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