Buzz: Sri Lanka to criminalise fixing-related offences

Sri Lanka has become the first South Asian nation to criminalise several offences related to match-fixing as its parliament passed all three readings of a bill labelled “Prevention of Offences Related to Sports”.

If a person is found guilty of committing an offence related to corruption in sports, then he may find himself jailed for a term up to 10 years and he will also be required to pay various fines, ESPNcricinfo reported.

The newest legislation covers all sports and it is believed that the recent investigation by Anti-Corruption Unit prompted this bill to be drafted.

Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Harin Fernando presented the bill in the parliament and former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga who is a now a cabinet minister supported the new legislation during parliamentary debates.

The country’s Sports Ministry worked closely with the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) ACU during the process of drafting the bill.

The legislation not only seeks to punish any person related to a sport who is directly involved in fixing, but also those who provide inside information. Curators who prepare surfaces to suit betting operators or the match officials who deliberately misapply the rules for money can also face a jail term if found guilty.

It is also now illegal for former players and others involved in sports to provide corrupt figures access to current players. The bill also criminalises “acts of omission”, which includes failure to report corrupt approaches. This means that Sri Lankan cricketers who are approached by corruptors now have to report these approaches not only to the ICC’s ACU, but also to a Special Investigation Unit appointed by Sri Lanka’s government.

Recently, Bangladesh’s all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was handed a two-year ban, with one year being suspended for not reporting a suspected match-fixing offer to the ICC’s ACU.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has been under investigation by the ICC’s ACU since 2017. Former cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya was charged under the ICC Code and he was handed a two-year ban.

Watson appointed as President of ACA

Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has been appointed as the President of Australian Cricketers Association (ACA).

He was appointed as the head of the association during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Sydney.

Watson is now a part of an extended ten-person board which includes three new appointments– current Australian players Pat Cummins and Kristen Beams and former Australian cricketer, Lisa Sthalekar.

“Through a period of immense change, the players have been, and will continue to be, a strong voice in protecting what’s made our game of cricket great, while embracing opportunities that change inevitably brings,” Watson said in an official statement.

Watson also lauded Cricket Australia’s recently introduced parental policy for women cricketers.

“This policy, amid a host of other changes, assures Australian women that cricket is a sport which can now support you and your family. And for girls coming through who love sport, like my daughter, it says that cricket is a sport where you will be able to have a career,” Watson said.

“I am truly honoured to be elected as the President of the ACA as it evolves into the future. I have big shoes to fill with the people who have gone before me and I am super excited about this opportunity to continue to give back to the game that has given me so much,” Watson tweeted.

Current players Pat Cummins and Aaron Finch are also a part of the ACA’s Board. While Finch was a part of the board, Cummins has become the newest addition, apart from Lisa Sthalekar and Kristen Beams.

“I have seen first-hand how much help the ACA has given me and other players, and now coming into my ninth year as a contracted cricketer hopefully I can be a voice for the players like a few of the older guys before me,” Cummins said.

“I have always been a huge advocate of the players so I certainly want to be able to provide any help that I can. I think the ACA is a perfect voice for the players. They can share their information with there teammates who are delegates or on committees, and they know that the ACA will always have their back,” Sthalekar said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Cricket Australia had announced the appointment of former player Melanie Jones as their Director.

Jones, who debuted for the international team in 1997, was recognised with one of Australia’s highest honour, Medal of the Order of Australia, this year. Her cricket career spanned from 1995 to 2011.

After the fresh appointments, the Australian Cricketers Association’s Board office-bearers are as follows:

Shane Watson- Initial President and Elected Director

Greg Dyer- Initial chair and Elected Director

Aaron Finch- Elected Director

Alyssa Healy- Elected Director

Pat Cummins- Elected Director

Kristen Beams- Elected Director

Moises Henriques- Elected Director

Lisa Sthalekar- Appointed Director

Neil Maxwell- Appointed Director

Janet Torney- Appointed Director

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