SLC to probe Premier League first-class match
The match in question was a Tier B clash between Panadura Sports Club and Kalutara Physical Culture, held last week
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will launch an independent inquiry into a pivotal first-class match in which the pattern of scoring has aroused suspicions among other clubs in the league.
The result of last week's Tier B Premier League match between Panadura Sports Club and Kalutara Physical Culture Club had helped secure Panadura the Tier B title, but second-placed Sri Lanka Ports Authority has since voiced concerns about the game to SLC. The board's cricket committee has consequently recommended an inquiry.
"Yesterday the cricket committee met and they got the reports from the match referee and the umpires," board vice-president K Mathivanan told ESPNcricinfo. "They will give their observations, and the Executive Committee will be appointing a three-member committee to inquire. Most probably by tomorrow the committee will be appointed."
It is the third (and final) day's play that has drawn most concern. Having begun the day on 180 for 2 - still in their first-innings response to Kalutara's 390 - Panadura added 223 runs in 22.3 overs at a run rate of 10.34.
The remaining two innings of the match were also played at breakneck pace - Kalutara were bowled out for 197 in 22.5 overs in the second innings, before Panadura hit 167 for 7 in 13.4 to win the game. Around 15 overs had remained in the match for Panadura's push for victory.
Mathivanan said SLC will try and appoint people to the inquiry committee who are unaffiliated with an existing club. This ostensibly rules out most SLC officials, who are routinely involved in the running of domestic clubs.
"We want the inquiry to be unbiased, so it has to be independent," Mathivanan said. "The transparency will be there, and justice will be done."
There were no current international players involved in that match. After this penultimate-round victory, Panadura went on to also defeat Kurunegala Youth Cricket Club and top the table with 134.115 points. SLPA finished with 125.34 points.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando