ICC launches anti-corruption investigation into Sri Lanka cricket

Former selector Pramodya Wickramasinghe alleged Sri Lanka of corrupt practice against Zimbabwe in the fourth ODI in July

With September 30 set as the cut-off date for automatic qualification for the World Cup, the Windies now can not move ahead of Sri Lanka in the ICC ODI World Rankings irrespective of the results in the remaining matches, which has paved the way for Sri Lanka to gain automatic qualification.

Whatever the case, it is uncommon for the ICC to comment on ongoing ACU investigations as they have on this occasion.

However, 40 players including skippers Dinesh Chandimal and Upul Tharanga signed a petition that stated that they were hurt by Wickremasinghe's shocking claims and urged the ICC to launch an investigation.

"There is now an ICC investigation underway in Sri Lanka", the ACU's General Manager Alex Marshall said in a statement on Sunday. "Naturally, as part of this, we are talking to a number of people".

The decision follows after former selector Pramodya Wickremasinghe said in a television interview that there are suspicions over "unnatural match patterns" involving Sri Lanka.

Former player and selector Pramodya Wickramasinghe has claimed that he never levelled any allegations against Sri Lankan players and only wanted a probe into "floating rumours" of corruption following the team's string of poor performances.

The players have further challenged Wickremasinghe to prove his allegations.

However, SLC did not say if it had launched such an inquiry.

Virat Kohli's visitors took the Test series 3-0 and then won a ODI series 5-0 before triumphing in the lone T20I of their tour by seven wickets in Colombo earlier this month. A member of the 1996 World Cup winning team, Wickremasinghe has played 40 Tests and 134 ODIs for Sri Lanka.

Wickramasinghe, a former fast bowler who was part of Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup winning team, questioned the reasoning behind some of the decisions made during a one-day global defeat to Zimbabwe earlier this year.

"When we lost, I was distressed and I had a doubt", Ranatunga said in July. "There must be an inquiry".

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