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Sanath Jayasuriya charged under ICC anti-corruption code; Zimbabwe series in focus

The charges relate to failure or refusal to cooperate with an ACU investigation and obstructing or delaying an investigation

Sanath Jayasuriya attends a press conference  •  Getty Images

Sanath Jayasuriya attends a press conference  •  Getty Images

Sanath Jayasuriya has been charged with two counts of breaching the ICC's anti-corruption code.
The charges relate to failure or refusal to cooperate with an Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) investigation and obstructing or delaying an investigation, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information which may be relevant.
The charges have been laid following more than a year of ACU focus on Sri Lanka's 2017 ODI series against Zimbabwe.
Jayasuriya, a former Sri Lanka captain, was chairman of selectors until he and his committee resigned in September 2017, following widespread criticism of the committee's performance. He had also been chief selector in a previous two-year stint, that ran from early 2013 to the end of the 2015 World Cup.
The charges are understood to relate to alleged incidents that occurred during the second of those stints. It is also understood that the ACU had asked Jayasuriya to hand over a phone in his use at some time last year, and that Jayasuriya had not immediately complied. Jayasuriya now has 14 days from October 15 to respond to the charges.
Concerns had surfaced over a year ago in the media about Sri Lanka's performance during their home ODI series against Zimbabwe last September. The five-match series, closely fought, was eventually won by Zimbabwe 3-2.
It is understood that there were specific concerns about the fourth ODI of the series, in Hambantota, which Zimbabwe eventually won on the basis of the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method despite Sri Lanka setting a 301-run target initially.
In September-October last year, several people comprising players, team officials and administrators came under investigation.
Under the code, signed by all member cricket boards, the ACU can make a number of demands which includes seeking bank details, phone records and assets including the immediate handover of the communication devices. If someone fails or refuses to do that the person can charged.
Earlier this month, ACU general manager Alex Marshall issued an update on the ACU's probe, stating that a team was on the island "as part of [their] ongoing investigations into serious allegations of corruption in cricket in the country".
The ACU had also briefed the nation's president, prime minister as well as the sports minister - who oversees Sri Lanka Cricket - though it is likely that the ACU did not divulge the names of those they were investigating.
11PM IST - This story was updated to add background information

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf