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Two Indian nationals’ passport seized over match-fixing charge by Sri Lanka authorities

Bat and Ball (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sri Lankan authorities have taken a firm stance against alleged match-fixing attempts in an unsanctioned cricket tournament recently held in the country. The Legends Cricket League, which took place from March 08 to 19 in Kandy, has come under scrutiny after claims of corrupt approaches came to notice.

The incident took place when former Sri Lankan ODI captain Upul Tharanga, who currently serves as the national selectors’ chairman, and ex-New Zealand cricketer Neil Broom reported suspicious approaches made by two Indian nationals, Yoni Patel and P Akash.

According to the complaints, the duo allegedly attempted to influence players to underperform in matches during the Legends Cricket League.

Also read: Upul Tharanga reflects on Sri Lanka’s bowling make-up for T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka became the first South Asian country to criminalize such activities

Reacting swiftly, the magistrate’s court ordered Patel and Akash to surrender their passports, preventing them from leaving the country until investigations are completed. Both individuals are currently out on bail but face potential charges for their alleged involvement in match-fixing activities.

The tournament, though unsanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) or Sri Lanka Cricket, attracted several former international players. Patel, who owns the Kandy Swamp Army team in the event, and Akash are accused of trying to fix matches during the tournament, which saw Rajasthan Kings defeat New York Super Strikers in the finals.

Also read: Sri Lankan cricketers receive substantial pay hike ahead of T20 World Cup 2024

Sri Lanka has taken a proactive stance in combating match-fixing and corruption in sports. In 2019, the country became the first in South Asia to criminalize such activities, with perpetrators facing potential jail terms of up to 10 years and hefty fines. The law also seeks to punish individuals who fail to report corrupt approaches.

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