Sachithra Senanayake was the first player to be probed for match-fixing under a new anti-corruption law. On Monday, a Sri Lankan court put a travel ban on him.
The 38-year-old spinner’s passport was taken away because state lawyers wanted more time to look into something that happened during the 2020 Lanka Premier League (LPL).
A court official in Colombo told reporters, “The travel ban will be in place until October 16, when the case will be heard in front of the Colombo magistrate.”
Senanayake is accused of getting two LPL players to fix their games in 2020. He played his last international match against Australia in a T20 game in September 2016.
He stopped playing the game in all of its forms in February 2020, but probes into what he did kept going.
Police said that Senanayake is the first player to be charged with match-fixing under a new sports law that went into effect in 2019.
If you are found guilty, you could go to jail for up to 10 years or pay a fine of up to 100 million rupees ($317,000), or both.
In October, formal charges will be brought against Senanayake, but the former player has said in public that he is innocent.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has looked into and punished several well-known Sri Lankan players for cheating, but Senanayake is the first to be charged with a crime.
Then, in November 2019, Sri Lanka’s sports minister, Harin Fernando, put in place a strict new rule after the ICC said that Sri Lanka was one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
Mahindananda Aluthgamage, a former sports minister, told parliament in 2021 that match-fixing was common in Sri Lanka.
Arjuna Ranatunga, the captain of the Sri Lankan team that won the World Cup in 1996, asked fans to stop watching games in 2021 to protest what he called “mismanagement, corruption, and indiscipline” in the national team.