Sanath Jayasuriya: Former Sri Lanka captain banned from cricket for two years after admitting corruption charges

26 Feb

Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya has been banned from all cricket for two years after admitting breaching two counts of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption code.

The ex-batsman, who retired in 2012, was accused of failing to cooperate in an investigation into corruption, and delaying or obstructing an investigation.

Jayasuriya retired in 2012

Having admitted both breaches Jayasuriya, 49, has accepted a sanction of being suspended from all cricket-related activities for two years.

Alex Marshall, the general manager of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit, said in a statement: “This conviction under the Code demonstrates the importance of participants in cricket cooperating with investigations.

“Compelling participants to cooperate under the Code is a vital weapon in our efforts to rid our sport of corruptors. These rules are essential to maintain the integrity of our sport.”

Jayasuriya played 110 Test matches and 445 one-day internationals for Sri Lanka. He also played for Somerset, Lancashire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire and retired in 2012 before becoming Sri Lanka chairman of selectors.

Sri Lanka vs England: Tourists win third Test to complete series whitewash

26 Nov

Jack Leach ensured England kept their nerve in Colombo to turn their series win over Sri Lanka into a true collector’s item – a 3-0 whitewash on foreign soil.

Leach took three of the six required wickets as well as a vitally important run out to seal a 42-run win and make Joe Root’s side just the third English touring team to sweep a series of three or more games.

England celebrate winning the third Test, and the series

Such achievements are not easy to come by – the last time it happened, in New Zealand, John F Kennedy was planning for a second term as President of the United States and the Beatles were three days away from releasing their debut album – and Sri Lanka pushed England harder than anyone expected.

Chasing a ground record 327 and starting on 53 for four, Kusal Mendis (86) and Roshen Silva (65) both made major inroads before a last-wicket stand worth 58 threatened the unlikeliest of turnarounds in the third Test.

Leach’s left-arm spin earned him figures of four for 72, and the match-winning wicket of Malinda Pushpakumara four balls after tea, but it was a right-arm throw that did the most damage. He rattled the stumps from 40 yards to see off Mendis and break an ominous 102-run partnership with Roshen.

Hopes of a quick clean-up job on day four were quashed early on as Mendis steered Sri Lanka through the morning session almost unscathed. By lunch they had scored 111 runs and lost just one wicket – nightwatchman Lakshan Sandakan lingering for half-an-hour before Leach got one to drift and clip the edge.

Jack Leach took the opening wicket of the day

England’s spinners had otherwise endured one of their worst sessions since arriving on the island, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid regularly releasing the pressure with short balls or full tosses. Mendis pounced on any error in length with Roshen busily building his supporting role.

There were 10 boundaries in the morning’s play as well as one early six, Mendis pumping a loosener from Moeen over mid-wicket. Root kept the vastly experienced Stuart Broad out of the fray but did allow Ben Stokes to indulge a spell of fast, angry bouncers having employed the tactic with great success of day two.

The Durham all-rounder relentlessly hammered the middle of the pitch, and occasionally a batsman’ s body, but could not tempt them into a rash shot. Instead he found himself no-balled by umpire Sundaram Ravi for going too short, too often.

Resuming in the afternoon on 164 for five, Sri Lanka won a minor psychological victory when Root called for DRS on a caught-behind shout against Mendis. There was minimal enthusiasm for the doomed appeal but, as time ticked away, Root gambled in a vain attempt to make a breakthrough.

The game was drifting until, as they have so often this past month, England conjured a magical moment in the field. It was Leach this time, swooping quickly on the on-side as Roshen set off for an ambitious second run. The Somerset man took a moment before scattering the stumps at the non-striker’s end with a ferocious, flat throw and was immediately mobbed by his team-mates as Mendis trudged off.

Roshen eked a 30-run stand out of the hyper Niroshan Dickwella but the wicketkeeper’s frantic stay ended when he played back to Leach for a regulation bat-pad catch.

Keaton Jennings claimed his sixth catch of the match, equalling the record haul at short-leg, when Moeen got the better of Dilruwan Perera and Moeen ended Roshen’s resistance lbw. Correctly sensing a flick of the front pad before contact with the bat, he insisted on DRS to prove his point and bag a fourth wicket of the innings.

Pushpakumara defied England with a sparky 42, merrily carting the spinners with England’s reviews all gone, but the fun stopped when Broad used the new ball to pin him on the back of the helmet with a vicious bouncer.

He bravely carried on but Suranga Lakmal could not as he was leg before to the returning Leach in the first over of the evening’s play.

England verging on famous series win in Sri Lanka as rain ends day four early

17 Nov

England withstood a gutsy Sri Lankan fight back as seven wickets of spin and two magical moments from Keaton Jennings brought them within sight of a series-clinching victory in Kandy.

Rain prevented the second Test reaching a conclusion on day four but with the home side 226 for seven and needing 75 runs to force a decider in Colombo, England will resume as firm favourites.

Keaton Jennings reacts as Angelo Matthews hits out

If they finish the job, and not out batsman Niroshan Dickwella will do his best to ensure they do not, it will be just reward for Jennings’ inspired work at short-leg and a second consecutive triumph for their trio of tweakers – Jack Leach, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.

It would also be incredibly hard on Angelo Mathews, whose battling 88 placed England under severe pressure in the afternoon only for him to fall lbw to Moeen a matter of minutes before the weather hit.

A tea score of 219 for five probably made Sri Lanka slight favourites to reel in their target of 301 but in the 3.2 overs which followed they lost Mathews, Dilruwan Perera and the balance of power.

That they were ever ahead of the game was remarkable from the depths of 26 for three, Leach inflicting serious damage with the new ball.

Jack Leach in action

Opening in place of Sam Curran, off the field receiving treatment on a side strain, he persuaded the hard Kookaburra to turn and bounce past Kaushal Silva leaving Ben Foakes to complete a fine stumping.

Dhananjaya de Silva was next to go, Jennings claiming a quite stunning one-handed catch at short-leg as he instinctively tumbled towards safety in the opposite direction.

When Leach added Kusal Mendis lbw on the sweep, a walkover was on the cards.

Mathews and Dimuth Karunaratne were not about to let that happen and put on a diligent 77 either side of lunch before Jennings produced an even more remarkable effort from under the helmet.

Faced with a full-blooded Karunaratne sweep, he anticipated the stroke and thrust a hand out, improbably but intentionally parrying the ball into Foakes’ gloves.

Roshen Silva drives

It was as brave as it was brilliant and deserved to be part of a winning effort.

Ordinarily it might even have been enough to persuade Sri Lanka it was not their day but Mathews, dropped by Ben Stokes on seven from a taxing slip chance, was defiant.

Having started the job of grinding England down alongside Karunaratne, he brushed off Jennings’ jaw-dropping intervention to go again alongside Roshen Silva.

This time the stand was worth 73, more crucial runs against a softening ball on a slowing pitch.

Mathews reached his half-century in 75 balls, a relatively brisk effort given he hit only three boundaries in that time.

Instead he watched the ball diligently, played it late where he could and made the most of gaps in the field.

In an elongated afternoon session Sri Lanka added 126 for the loss of two wickets, with England’s lengthy pursuit of Roshen ultimately boiling down to their use of DRS.

Moeen Ali and team mates celebrate taking the wicket of Angelo Matthews

The first was frivolous, Rashid’s lbw appeal pitching outside leg and missing the stumps, the second a missed opportunity.

Moeen had the batsmen pinned on leg stump but, perhaps concerned about height, England chose not to send it upstairs.

Third time proved a charm, Joe Root making the signal after his slip catch was waved away. Replays showed a slight inside edge before the ball looped off the pad and the fifth wicket was safely banked.

The relief was fleeting as Dickwella flashed a run-a-ball 23 in the minutes leading up to tea.

During the interval things looked bad for England, but it took just three balls after the restart for Moeen to straighten one from round the wicket and claim the prize scalp of Mathews.

Leach followed by picking off Perera just before a storm moved into view and deferred the finale until day five.