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Sri Lanka-Pakistan Galle Test under ACU scanner

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will investigate the allegations of match-fixing in the July’s Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Galle. The match was won by the visitors, who chased down a formidable fourth innings target of 342, thanks to a heroic knock by opener Abdullah Shafique, who remained unbeaten on 160.

The decision is an initiative of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) which invited ICC Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) chief Alex Marshall to probe the sanctity of the July 16-20 match after Nalin Bandara, a Member of Parliament in the country, made the startling charges of underperformance by the home team.

After a meeting of its executive committee, SLC decided to invite the ACU head of the world body. As a matter of practice and policy, the ICC would not comment on the anti-corruption matters but Cricbuzz understands that the world body will send an ACU official to conduct the investigation. The SLC sent its letter a couple of days ago.

Speaking in Parliament recently, Bandara, said everyone in the SLC setup is involved in corruption and the result was compromised. When asked for a comment, the opposition MP, told Cricbuzz, “There are some issues, I will speak tomorrow (on Friday, November 25).” Reports have suggested that he did not offer any proof but as an MP he enjoys parliamentary immunity from libel cases.

Sri Lanka Cricket has been a centre of many allegations in the past leading to ICC action against many of its cricketers, including against star player no less than a World Cup (1996) hero Sanath Jayasuriya, who was banned for two years in 2019. An ICC ACU representative was a constant presence in Sri Lanka to probe charges of corruption.

The match in question was part of a two-Test which ended in a draw earlier this year. Batting first Sri Lanka made 222 and 337 and set up a 342-run target for Pakistan. Babar Azam’s team reached the target, losing six wickets with skipper himself contributing 55, the second highest score of the innings after Shafique’s 160 not out.

The series was conducted in the midst of an economic crisis in the island nation which was reeling under acute shortage of power and other essentials. SLC officials did not offer comment till the time of going to print.

Source: Cric Buzz