A former spin bowler for Sri Lanka, Sachithra Senanayake was detained by authorities on Wednesday for allegedly manipulating matches in accordance with a legislation designed to end widespread corruption in the sport of cricket.
A police spokeswoman told AFP that the 38-year-old was placed under arrest by a section looking into offences involving sports.
Although official charges have not yet been brought, the spokesperson said that the arrest was related to an event that occurred in the 2020 Lanka Premier League (LPL).
Senanayake’s passport was seized by a court last month as police looked into the claims.
Senanayake, who is suspected of pressuring two LPL players to rig games in 2020, last competed for Sri Lanka in 2016.
Senanayake is the first athlete to face legal action under a 2019 legislation that criminalizes match-fixing, according to the police.
A conviction carries a possible sentence of ten years in prison, a maximum fine of thirty-nine thousand rupees ($100,000), or both.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) regarded Sri Lanka as one of the most corrupt cricket countries, according to former sports minister Harin Fernando, who imposed the stringent new regulation.
Mahindananda Aluthgamage, a different former minister of sports, testified before parliament in 2021 that match-fixing was widespread throughout the nation.
In 2012, Arjuna Ranatunga, the captain of Sri Lanka at the 1996 World Cup, called on supporters to abstain from attending games in protest of what he described as “mismanagement, corruption, and indiscipline” within the national squad.