A practice net bowler has been alleged to be involved in the ongoing match-fixing probe against Kusal Perera and Rangana Herath. Reportedly, both of them were approached by bookies in October to under-perform in the test match against West Indies at Galle and according to speculations, Perera and Herath were offered $10 million to underperform for their team and lose the match.
It is said that the bookies approached the two international players through this net bowler and Sri Lankan Sports Minister, Dayasiri Jayasekera said, “We will make a complain at the FCID (Financial Crime Investigation Division) against him.”
Sri Lanka started this probe when Rangana Herath and Perera complained about bookies approaching them, albeit, Sri Lanka thumped down West Indies in that test match at Galle.
Sports ministry official KDS Ruwanchandra said, “There is some suspicion of a net bowler, who was around for that West Indies series, so the sports ministry has passed the information on to the FCID.”
Sri Lanka cricket reported that both the players reported the approach by a bookie to ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), however, the board has gone in for a domestic investigation right now.
Also, Kusal Perera was suspended in a “random steroid test” for in taking a banned drug according to ICC. The sports minister, however, came in full support of the player and thought that it was all just a trap to weaken the team’s strength in the upcoming World T20.
A second sample “B” confirmed the presence of the substance and now the player is sanctioned with a 4-year ban for doping. Jayasekara said, “The International Cricket Council (ICC) has informed that he faces a four-year ban.” He also added further that, ‘’we are hoping to appeal.”
This is not the first time when a Sri Lankan player has faced a failure in a dope test. Earlier during the World Cup in 2011, Upul Tharanga was suspended for 3 months after he was also tested positive over a drug which was banned during the same World Cup.