Indian duo set to be indicted for match-fixing in Lanka Legends Cricket League

Upul Tharanga
Upul Tharanga. File photo: AFP/Ishara S Kodikara

Colombo: Indian national Yoni Patel, who owns a team in the unsanctioned Legends Cricket League here, is set to be indicted for match-fixing along with compatriot P Akash, a Colombo magistrate's court official has said.

This was after Patel's application for bail was refused by the court last Friday and the travel ban imposed on the duo was extended by one month, the official revealed.

The Indians have been accused of trying to fix matches in the Legends Cricket League which was held between March 8 and 19 at central Kandy district's Pallekele international stadium. Rajasthan Kings defeated New York Super Strikers in the final.

Patel owns the Kandy Swamp Army team.

Officials said Akash, who is the manager of Punjab Royals, too would be indicted as the case progresses.

Former Sri Lankan captain Upul Tharanga, who is currently the chairman of national selectors, and ex-New Zealand player Neil Broom had complained to the Special Investigation Unit of the Ministry of Sports about the approaches by Patel and Akash to fix games by under-performing in the league.

Patel and Akash were subsequently banned from leaving the country by the magistrate's court until the investigations could be completed.

The league is neither recognised by the International Cricket Council, nor Sri Lanka Cricket.

Sri Lanka was the first South Asian country to criminalise match-fixing and corruption in sports when it passed a law against the menace in 2019.

Anyone found guilty can be jailed for up to 10 years and also be required to pay fines.

The law also seeks to punish acts of omission such as failure to report corrupt approaches.

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