Lokuarachchi to appeal against 18-month ban; says team owner asked him to fix
Sri Lankan all-rounder Kaushal Lokuarachchi has decided to appeal against the 18-month ban handed to him by the Bangladesh Premier League anti-corruption committee. The sentence for Lokuarachchi was announced after the committee came to a decision that the Sri Lankan had failed to report an approach.
However, talking to Ceylon Today, Lokuarachchi, who played for the Dhaka Gladiators, said that it was a team owner who had approached him, and not a bookie, and he was forced to stay silent.
"In the dressing room the owner threatened me and said I should not tell anyone what happened. Naturally I was very upset. As you see it was not a bookie who approached me, but an owner of the team, who provided me accommodation. So I kept mum.
“The team official asked me to give away 14 runs off the 17th over to be bowled by me,” Lokuarachchi continued. “I straightaway said ‘no’. Then another team official approached me and asked me to do it. I again said ‘no’. In the dressing room another team official threatened me and said I should not tell anyone what happened. Naturally I was very upset.”
He went on to express his discontent with the ban imposed by the tribunal saying, "I've a serious doubt about these officials in the tribunal. In the first place they didn't accept my statement. I told the truth and faced the consequences. I'm quite ready to accept the punishment if I had been approached by a bookie and I kept silent. But it was the owner of the team.”
"The entire judgment is a shocker as Lokuarachchi has fully cooperated with the ICC all along,” exclaimed his lawyer, Dinal Philips. “The punishment is far and excessive for a first time offender.”
Lokuarachchi, aged 32, has represented Sri Lanka in 21 ODIs, two T20Is and four Tests between the period of 2003 to 2012.