Sri Lankan cricket was thrown into further turmoil on Tuesday when former captain and chairman of selectors Sanath Jayasuriya was banned from all cricket for two years by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after admitting to breaching two counts of the Anti-Corruption Code. Calling it a sad day for Sri Lankan cricket, former captain Mahela Jayawardene appeared to criticise Jayasuriya for not cooperating and called on players in the country to expose the corrupt so that the next generation can be protected.

According to an ICC release, “Mr Jayasuriya, the former Sri Lanka Cricket Chair of Selectors, admitted to being in breach of the following provisions of the Code:

1. Article 2.4.6 – Failure or refusal, without compelling justification, to cooperate with any investigation carried out by the ACU, including failure to provide accurately and completely any information and/or documentation requested by the ACU as part of such investigation.

2. Article 2.4.7 – Obstructing or delaying any investigation that may be carried out by the ACU, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant to that investigation and/or that may be evidence or may lead to the discovery of evidence of corrupt conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code.

“As a result of the admissions, he has accepted a sanction of a two-year period of ineligibility,” the release further added.

Jayasuriya termed the decision as “unfortunate”, claiming that ICC has no evidence of “corruption, betting or misuse of inside information” against him.

“It is unfortunate that even though I provided the ICC ACU with all the information as demanded by the officials the ICC ACU thought it fit to charge me under the Code although there were no allegations of corruption, betting or misuse of inside information.”

Jayasuriya in his defence said that he has always played the game with highest integrity.

When asked why he admitted to the charges of having destroyed the evidence as claimed by the ICC, he said: “I accepted the charges for the greater good and to protect the integrity of cricket”.