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Nuwan Zoysa charged under ICC anti-corruption code

Nuwan Zoysa at a training session Aamir Qureshi / © AFP

Nuwan Zoysa has been charged with three counts of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. Owing to the seriousness of the charges, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has sent Zoysa on "compulsory leave", with immediate effect.

Although he has never directly worked with the national team, Zoysa is the incumbent bowling coach of the Sri Lanka A team, and was part of tours of West Indies and Bangladesh this year. He has been a fast-bowling coach in the Sri Lankan set up since September 2015, and had coached the Indian domestic team Goa prior to that.

Zoysa stands accused of being involved in attempting to fix or otherwise influence improperly the result or other aspects of an international match, of soliciting fellow professionals to do the same, and for failing to disclose any approach by potential fixers to the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit.

Zoysa becomes the second former Sri Lankan cricketer in less than a month to be charged by the ICC on grounds of corruption, as part of the ICC's ongoing probe into serious allegations of corruption in Sri Lanka.

Earlier this month Zoysa's former captain and teammate, Sanath Jayasuriya, was charged by the ACU over his failure to cooperate in their investigation. In the wake of this development, ACU general manager Alex Marshall had told ESPNcricinfo that Sri Lanka was "the country where we have conducted the most investigations in the last 12 months".

Zoysa, who retired from international cricket in 2007 having played 30 Tests and 95 ODIs for Sri Lanka, has 14 days from November 1 to respond to the charges.

In the media release confirming Zoysa being sent on indefinite leave, SLC also said it has begun work on setting up a "fully-fledged anti-corruption unit" and has spoken to the ICC to seek its help in doing so.

"As another forward step, The Competent Authority of the SLC Mr. Kamal Pathmasiri; SLC CEO, Mr. Ashley De Silva and Deputy Solicitor General of the AG's Department Sumathi Dharmawardena will travel to UK; in the near future; to meet the UK's Chief Prosecutor; to discuss the modality of setting up such a mechanism in Sri Lanka," the SLC release stated.

"In the meantime, Minister of Sports Honorable Faiszer Musthapa has assured SLC that he will work towards introducing tough anti-corruption laws in Sri Lanka.

"Honorable Minister is constantly engaged with the SLC on this matter and is of the view that setting up a prudent anti-corruption mechanism in Sri Lanka is vital for the future of the game."

GMT 1640 The story was updated to include SLC's response