Former Sri Lankan spin bowler Sachithra Senanayake was detained by police in Colombo on Wednesday for alleged match-fixing, making him the country's first person to be prosecuted under new legislation that made the practice a crime.
Senanayake may get a sentence of up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $309,000 if found guilty.
The arrest occurs as Sri Lanka works to eradicate match-fixing. The harsh new regulation was adopted by the country’s former sports minister, Harin Fernando, who said that the International Cricket Council (ICC) regarded Sri Lanka as one of the most corrupt cricket nations.
Mahindananda Aluthgamage, another former minister of sports, informed the parliament in 2021 that match-fixing was widespread throughout the country.
Arjuna Ranatunga, the captain of Sri Lanka who won the World Cup in 1996, advised supporters to skip games in 2012 to protest what he called "mismanagement, corruption, and indiscipline" in the national squad.
Senanayake's arrest marks a significant milestone in Sri Lanka's fight against match-fixing. It is uncertain if it will be sufficient to stop other players from abusing their power in corrupt ways.