Former Sri Lankan cricketer Sachithra Senanayake, a World Cup winner, has been taken into custody following allegations of involvement in match-fixing. Senanayake surrendered to the Special Investigation Unit of the Sports Ministry and is scheduled to appear in court, becoming the first cricketer in Sri Lanka’s cricket history to face prosecution over such allegations.
The accusations against Senanayake revolve around his alleged attempts to manipulate match outcomes during the 2020 Lanka Premier League (LPL). It is reported that Senanayake communicated with two fellow cricketers via phone from Dubai during the inaugural LPL season in 2020 in an effort to fix matches. Earlier in August 2023, the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court imposed a travel ban on him as part of an ongoing investigation into match-fixing suspicions.
The Attorney General’s directives led to the Special Investigation Unit of the Sports Ministry filing criminal charges against Senanayake, resulting in a three-month travel restriction. Senanayake, aged 38, vehemently denies the allegations, labeling them as baseless and suggesting they are part of a deliberate effort to tarnish his and his family’s reputation.
During his cricketing career, Sachithra Senanayake represented Sri Lanka in a single Test match, 49 One Day Internationals (ODIs), and 24 T20 Internationals from 2012 to 2016. He was known for his adept off-spin bowling skills, displaying remarkable precision in maintaining the right line and length. In total, he secured 53 wickets in ODIs and 25 wickets in T20 matches.