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Two former Sri Lankan players suspended over spot-fixing allegations

Two of the three former Sri Lankan players seen in conversation with alleged fixers in Al Jazeera's documentary on cricket corruption are coaches presently working for Sri Lanka Cricket. They have been suspended since the documentary's release, SLC said.

Jeevantha Kulatunga, 44, who had played two T20 internationals for Sri Lanka and had also coached the national women's team until 2014, was working as a provincial coach in the Western Province. Tharindu Mendis is a coach for the Gampaha district, in addition to being a former first-class cricketer.

Both were seen talking to an alleged fixer, as well as the Al Jazeera journalist posing as a prospective bettor. Mendis was seen during the investigation into pitch fixing; Kulatunga in another part of the documentary when those in the room were allegedly speaking about fixing actual games. "Playing cricket for us is like brushing our teeth in the morning," Kulatunga is shown to be saying at one point. "But playing according to your plan is the easiest thing because there's no pressure for us."

SLC said its first move after coming to know of these allegations was to suspend those in its employ. "The names we learned about as a result of this documentary - we suspended them immediately," SLC vice-president Mohan de Silva said. "It's our duty to protect the game, and we want to reiterate that we have a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. We will look at our processes and improve them to ensure there is no leeway."

Al Jazeera's documentary also implicated a third former player, Dilhara Lokuhettige, who was shown to be in the room with Kulatunga when fixing was allegedly discussed. As Lokuhettige lives in Australia and holds no positions within SLC, the board can take no action against him, board CEO Ashley de Silva said.

The assistant manager at the Galle Stadium, who is also implicated in Al Jazeera's allegations, has been suspended as well.