SLC angry over allegation against players

A potential dispute involving two leading cricketers, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and a state-owned channel appears to have been doused after the channel issued a clarification over remarks made by an anchor following Sri Lanka's 11-run loss to Pakistan on Saturday.

A commentary on Sunday on Sri Lanka's state TV network, ITN, said a businessman had bet roughly $18,000 on a Pakistan victory and, according to an SLC release, implied "that our players might have been involved in match-fixing."

SLC condemned the comments and said it would be taking up the matter "with the relevant authorities of this channel, based on the fact that this channel has brought great distress to two of our national cricketers." After Sri Lanka's nine-wicket win over Kenya on Tuesday, a board official said that the matter would be discussed with lawyers and board authorities.

Soon after the SLC release, ITN issued its own clarification. "It must be emphasised that our intention was purely not to embarrass" the players. "We wish to express our deep concern if the contents of the programme had hurt both of them or any other party. Today's "Vimasuma" [the name of the show] was based on making further clarifications with regard to the earlier programme."

Sri Lanka's team manager Anura Tennekoon denied there would be any inquiry from the SLC or from the International Cricket Council (ICC). "Knowing both [the players], we feel there is no necessity to investigate the matter and, as far as the ICC has concerned, they have the right to investigate but so far they have not brought anything on this," Tennekoon said. "But we will discuss the matter with our lawyer as well."