Cricket: Malinga questions ICC amnesty

Sri Lanka limited overs captain Lasith Malinga - Photo: Photosport

The Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga doesn't believe players should get an amnesty if they come forward to report previously undisclosed information relating to corruption in the sport.

Cricket's international governing body, the ICC, has given Sri Lankan cricketers a 15-day amnesty to report anything they may know about corruption and comes in the wake of a series of cases involving former Sri Lanka internationals and administrators.

Sri Lankan cricketing great Sanath Jayasuriya is among those caught up in the scandal.

He's been charged over his refusal to cooperate with the anti-corruption officials and for obstructing or delaying their investigation.

Jayasuriya, also a former chairperson of selectors and an ex-Sri Lanka government minister, was accused of failing to co-operate with an investigation and "concealing, tampering with or destroying evidence", but issued a statement saying he had always acted with "integrity".

But Malinga says if players have information they should come foward so cheats can be expelled from the game as cricket followers need to know matches aren't fixed.

"I don't know why they are giving that opportunity (the amnesty)....if they catch people they should punish them straight away - otherwise people have a guilty mind (that a game they are watching in't genuine) and cricket is going nowhere," he said.

Malinga said the team has yet to sit down and discuss the ICC statement.

Players can be suspended for failing to pass on information about corruption but anything reported between January 16-31 will not attract a charge, the ICC said in a statement.

Failure to do so, however, could result in a ban from cricket for up to five years.

"This is the first time the ICC has held an amnesty and it is in response to the very specific challenges we face in Sri Lanka," the general manager of the ICC's anti-corruption unit Alex Marshall said.

"Allowing retrospective reporting of alleged approaches to engage in corrupt conduct will assist in our ongoing and wide-ranging investigations, as well as enabling us to continue to develop a comprehensive picture of the situation there."

Following a meeting in Dubai last month, Sri Lanka's sports minister Harin Fernando said the ICC had ranked the country's cricket administration "corrupt from top to bottom".

Former Sri Lankan bowler Dilhara Lokuhettige was charged last year for violating the anti-corruption code relating to a 10-over league in the United Arab Emirates, while the country's former paceman and bowling coach Nuwan Zoysa was provisionally suspended by Sri Lanka Cricket over match-fixing accusations.

Neither Lokuhettige nor Zoysa has responded publicly to the charges against them.

The Sri Lankan national team is currently touring New Zealand, having suffered a 3-0 defeat to New Zealand's Black Caps in the One Day International series.

A one-off Twenty20 match between the two teams is taking place at Auckland's Eden Park tomorrow.