SL seeks India's help to tackle fixing rut

India has offered to assist Sri Lanka with its inquiry into match-fixing in cricket and drafting laws to combat cheating in the game, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said yesterday.

He said India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) could provide
technical expertise in probing widespread allegations of corruption in cricket.

"I made the request, and Prime Minister Modi immediately put me in touch with the CBI," said Ranatunga, who also skippered Sri Lanka during their World Cup victory in 1996. "We don't have the expertise or the laws to deal with this problem in a proper manner. India promised to help us in drafting legislation too," the minister said after returning from New Delhi.

The CBI named Ranatunga and his deputy Aravinda de Silva in a match-fixing investigation in 2000 but the pair were cleared of any wrongdoing. Sri Lanka promised to establish a special police unit to investigate match-fixing after a documentary aired in May alleged massive global corruption in cricket. Galle groundsman Tharanga Indika and professional cricketer Tharindu Mendis allegedly speculated about fixing the pitch to ensure a result in under four days in the Test against England. Both men have been suspended by Sri Lanka Cricket pending an ICC investigation.

A third man, provincial coach Jeevantha Kulatunga, was also suspended. Sanath Jayasuriya, a member of the 1996 World Cup winning squad, is under investigation by the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit, along with several others. Jayasuriya has been charged for not cooperating with a match-fixing probe and concealing information.(AFP)