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Sri Lanka fires academy bowling coach over fixing approach

Colombo: Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) yesterday sacked academy fast bowling coach Anusha Sanaranayakae for two months over involvement in an alleged attempt to fix a Test match against the West Indies last October.

SLC also barred Gayan Wishwajith from participating in any capacity in Sri Lankan cricket or entering any cricket premises in the future. Wishwajith is being investigated by the SLC for allegedly approaching several national players for match-fixing and is seen as a "close acquaintance" of Samaranayake.

Samaranayake was suspended after Sri Lanka's sports minister ordered a probe into allegations of an attempt at bribing players to under-perform in a Test match against the West Indies last October. Attempts were made to engineer a batting collapse, the cricket board said in a statement.

"Sri Lanka Cricket has received several complaints regarding close acqu aintance of Anusha Samaranayake with the main suspect Gayan Vishwajith who had approached several national players for the alleged illegal activities of match-fixing," the statement said.

"Pursuant to a preliminary inquiry conducted in this regard, Sri Lanka Cricket has decided to suspend Anusha Samaranayake for a period of two months until further investigations are concluded."

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka's sports ministry had reported an alleged fixing approach made to Kusal Perera and Rangana Herath during the West Indies tour, to the country's Financial Crimes Investigation Department.

Perera had alerted the officials about an approach made by bookies to him and Herath to under-perform during the Sri Lanka-West Indies Test at Galle. Samaranayake, a former national cricketer toured England with Sri Lanka's Test team in 1984.

Following the complaint the two players were summoned to the police's Financial Crimes Division (FCID) last week.

Team manager Jerry Woutersz was today interviewed by the FCID. Tomorrow Angelo Mathews is to give a statement. The FCID investigation began following a complaint lodged by Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera.

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