Pitch for India vs Sri Lanka Test at Galle in 2017 was doctored, claims sting operation
A sting operation by the Al Jazeera television network has claimed that the pitch for India's first Test of their to Sri Lanka in 2017 was doctored to suit match-fixers' demands. In the aftermath of the revelation, the International Cricket Council has ordered an investigation into the matter on Saturday.
"We have already launched an investigation working with anti-corruption colleagues from Member countries based on the limited information we have received," ICC GM (Anti Corruption Unit) Alex Marshall said.
"We have made repeated requests that all evidence and supporting materials relating to corruption in cricket is released immediately to enable us to undertake a full and comprehensive investigation," he added.
A former Mumbai cricketer, Robin Morris apparently accepted his involvement in the incident and went on to reveal that he bribed a groundsman to modify the pitch accordingly. The match, which was played at Galle, saw India pound Sri Lanka by a margin of 304 runs.
The groundsman in question here is Tharanga Indika, who is also the assistant manager of the stadium at Galle.
"The groundsman, Tharanga Indika, assistant manager at the Galle stadium, says he can make pitches to favour either bowlers or batsmen. If you want a pitch for spin bowling or pace bowling or batting, it can be done," the channel claimed on its website.
In one of the short clippings which have been released by the channel, Morris can be seen claiming that Indika can doctor the pitch as per their needs.
"What happens is he - we - can make a pitch to do whatever we want it to do. Because he's the main curator. He is the assistant manager and curator of the Galle stadium."
The groundsman himself then attests to the fact that the pitch was altered to suit the batsmen.
"India was set for a batting wicket. We pressed the wicket thoroughly with a roller and then we put water on it to make it even harder."