Sanath Jayasuriya released a statement for his fans after the International Cricket Council banned him from all cricket for two years, saying he has always maintained a high integrity throughout his career and always put country first. “I reiterate the fact that I have always maintained a high degree of integrity throughout my cricketing career. I have always put country first and the cricket loving public are the best witness to this aspect,” Sri Lankan batting great Sanath Jayasuriya in a lengthy post on Twitter on Wednesday.

“I profusely thank the public of Sri Lanka and my fans for having stood by me during this difficult period,” he added.

The 49-year-old, regarded as one of the greatest One Day International batsmen of all time and was pivotal in winning the 1996 World Cup, accepted the punishment on Tuesday.

“This conviction under the Code demonstrates the importance of participants in cricket cooperating with investigations,” said Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager of the Anti-Corruption Unit in a statement.

“Compelling participants to cooperate under the Code is a vital weapon in our efforts to rid our sport of corruptors. These rules are essential to maintain the integrity of our sport.”

Jayasuriya was charged in October after failing to provide his mobile phones to the ACU.

He was also accused of obstructing or delaying any investigation into corruption in the game.

Jayasuriya in a statement said he had pleaded guilty to the charges expecting a mitigated punishment.

“Consequent to correspondence between the ICC ACU officials and my lawyers we agreed to a sanction of a period of ineligibility of two years, which period is to take effect from the 15th of October 2018,” Jayasuriya said.

Jayasuriya played 110 Tests, 445 one-day internationals and 31 Twenty20s for Sri Lanka and was also a former captain during his illustrious career between 1989-2011.

He is also a former member of Sri Lanka’s parliament and a former deputy minister.