Sri Lanka’s Sachithra Senanayake arrested on charges related to match-fixing

Former Sri Lanka offspinner Sachithra Senanayake has been arrested by Sri Lanka Police on Wednesday, on charges related to match-fixing. According to the police’s media division, he is due to be produced in court in the next 24 hours.

Senanayake, 38, is alleged to have attempted to convince players to fix in the 2020 Lanka Premier League. Although he was not himself a player in this tournament, and is understood to have been overseas at the time, Senanayake is alleged to have contacted more than one player taking part in the LPL. This information was then allegedly conveyed to the tournament’s anti-corruption officers.

The arrest was made under the Prevention of Offences Relating to Sports Act, which was introduced in 2019. Under this law, “any person who solicits, entices, persuades, or instructs any person… to influence the result, progress, conduct … of any sport, commits the offence of corruption in sports”. This is the first arrest made under this act.

Last month, a court had also imposed a travel ban on Senanayake, after a probe was launched into the allegations.

Senanayake had had something of a storied career before being pulled up on his action in 2014. He’d been a key part of Sri Lanka’s triumphant 2014 T20 World Cup campaign, and had also been bought for USD $625,000 by Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2013 IPL season.

Although he made a return in 2014 with a remodeled bowling action, his career declined thereafter. He played the last of his 49 ODIs in December 2015, and the last of his 24 T20Is in 2016. He also played one Test in 2013, but didn’t take any wickets.

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