Sri Lanka vs India: Pitch talk 'banned' at Galle Stadium

Jul 25, 2017, 09:25 IST | Jasvinder Sidhu

Jayananda Warnaweera
Jayananda Warnaweera

It has been almost 19 months since the ICC banned Jayananda Warnaweera, former cricketer and curator of the Galle International Stadium, for three year for his alleged involvement in 'pitch fixing' in 2015.

But the ghost of that fixing scandal involving an Indian bookie seems to be haunting everyone here. A request from mid-day for a meeting with the present curator for the first India-Sri Lanka Test was rejected without even bothering to learn the reason of the meeting.

"No one here is going to tell you anything about this pitch," a senior ground staff said. "Because of 'pitch fixing', everyone is under the scanner. This is very bad. We don't want more trouble. So please leave. The pitch is a very sensitive matter here."

As the entire ground staff were busy getting the stadium ready for the Test, the man in the eye of the storm was sitting in Kandy.

"There is no point in coming to watch the match," Warnaweera said over the phone. "I have already served two years of the sentence for a crime which I never committed. There is only one year remaining of the ban. I don't want any controversy. I am happy with my family. My wife has a good job and my son is in America. I am a happy man."

Warnaweera denied any wrongdoing but sources in the ICC claim that he was in touch with an Indian bookie and provided him with pitch information during Sri Lanka's Test series against the visiting West Indies.

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