Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya insists integrity in response to ICC charge

World Cup winner and ex-national selector was charged on Monday on two counts - 'failure or refusal' to co-operate with ACU investigation and 'obstructing or delaying' its work

FILE - In this file photo dated Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, Sri Lanka's newly appointed chief cricket selector Sanath Jayasuriya speaks during a media briefing in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The International Cricket Council said Monday Oct. 15, 2018,  Jayasuriya is charged with offences relating to the “failure or refusal” to cooperate with an investigation carried out by its anti-corruption unit and also for “obstructing or delaying” an investigation. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena, FILE)
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Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya has stressed his "integrity and transparency" in response to being charged by the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit.

The 49-year-old all-rounder, a World Cup winner and former national selector, was charged on Monday on two counts - "failure or refusal" to co-operate with an investigation carried out by the ACU and "obstructing or delaying" its work by concealing, tampering or destroying documentation or information.

He has now issued a carefully-worded statement in which he suggests "strict legal advice" prevents him from commenting fully before submitting his response to the ICC.

"I have always conducted myself with integrity and transparency with matters concerning the sport and will continue to do so," Jayasuriya, however, added.

"I am under advice to state that that the above charges do not contain any allegations pertaining to match-fixing, pitch fixing or any other corrupt activity. The charges allege that I have not been co-operative and not assisted the investigations."

Jayasuriya's statement added: "The contents of the [ICC] letter which has been released to the media has caused a lot of speculation among the cricket loving public both domestically and internationally.

"Unfortunately, I am not in a position to release any comments at this moment as I am initially required to submit my response within 14 days. I am under strict legal advice that no comment is to be made in respect of the above charges as such a course would offend the ICC Rules.

"My legal team is in the process of drafting my response and I would make a further release upon the submission of the said response."

Sri Lanka team manager Charith Senanayake stepped in on Tuesday when all-rounder Dasun Shanaka was asked if the Jayasuriya case was a distraction to the team, who play England in the third one-day international in Kandy on Wednesday.

"We have decided the players will not answer any questions with regard to Sanath," Senanayake said at a news conference.

"It is not a distraction because Sanath has no role to play with the squad at the moment. As a team and a board we cannot comment."


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England all-rounder Moeen Ali was dismayed to hear about the charges but said the news had reminded the touring squad about the dangers of corruption in the game.

"You're obviously disappointed for the game, but you don't know what's going on really and you try to get on with what your job is here," he told Test Match Special.

"You make sure you are more aware as a player of the things you need to look out for. We have these meetings two or three times a year when we are told what to look out for and it just reminds you to be really vigilant.

"I think the way the guys are, we're a close-knit unit. We don't allow anything coming in. We just get on with the game and play the best cricket we can, make our supporters proud of us and make them want to watch us play cricket.

"That's the most important thing, that we get the people back home watching us play cricket and fall in love with the way we play."