Match fixing, spot fixing not offences says to Cricket official
Nov 5, 2013

In a shocking revelation, the disciplinary committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has reported to the SLC Ex-Co that disgraced top cricket official A.R.M. Aroos who had held various high positions including the chairman of umpires committee within the SLC for more than 14 years under five different chairmen, despite all his experience in the game’s administration had claimed “spot fixing” and “match fixing” are not offences.

Aroos who was recently suspended for five years from cricket administration for soliciting and accepting a Rs. 56,000 bribe from Sri Lanka women’s cricket captain Shashikala Siriwardene, had made this claim to defend the three leading Sri Lankan cricket umpires while giving evidence in support of the tainted umpires at an inquiry immediately prior to his own inquiry.

This was reported by SLC’s fourmember disciplinary committee comprising of Palitha Kumarasinghe PC, Dinal Philips PC, Camillus R. Abeygoonewardena and Kamal Pushpakumara in their recommendations to SLC Exco on Aroos.

“Immediately prior to the commencement of the disciplinary inquiry against Mr. Aroos, Sri Lanka Cricket held a disciplinary inquiry against three leading cricket umpires in respect of their conduct during the Sri Lanka Premier League Tournament in 2012. At the time, relevant to offences committed by the umpire Mr. Aroos was the chairman of the umpires committee. Mr. Aroos gave evidence as a defence witness in support of the accused umpires and made endeavor to disprove the charges against the accused umpires and went to the extent of saying that “spot fixing” and “match fixing” are not offences. As the head of umpires committee, Mr. Aroos had condoned the conduct of the three umpires who had been charge sheeted for committing a serious misconduct tarnishing the image of Sri Lanka Cricket,” read the report issued on October 1.

The disciplinary committee found Aroos guilty of all three charges of 1. Soliciting and accepting and a Rs. 56,000 Sri Lanka national cricket captain Shashikala Siriwardene 2. Tarnishing the image of SLC in the public eye and bringing disrepute to the organization 3. Indulging in dishonest acts unbecoming of a member of SLC Ex-Co.

The disciplinary committee recommended that Aroos be suspended from cricket related administration activities for five years and be ordered to pay back Rs. 56,000 to Siriwardene. These recommendations were based on the report compiled by the inquiry tribunal that comprised of R.J. de Silva (Chairman of the anti corruption tribunal of SLC) and Kapila Liyanagamage.The tribunal report proved Aroos to be a very powerful official of SLC.

“Mr. Aroos (who is admittedly a very influential member of the ExCo dealing with women’s cricket and elected five times to the Board under five different chairmen spanning 14 years, and chairman umpires committee, five times secretary umpires committee three times/member of the umpires committee four times/selector and manager of Sri Lanka women’s cricket team) was appointed manager of Sri Lanka women’s cricket team in February 2012,” the report read.

“Considering the power and influence Mr. Aroos wielded, it is natural that Shashikala would have been wary of him and not attempt to antoganize the man who held such influence over women’s cricket. As stated elsewhere in this report, Shashikala said that she was compelled to give the money solicited by Mr. Aroos even though she knew it was wrong to do so,” added the report.

Referring to “Daily Mirror” article on July 8 this year under the headline “Extortion scandal rocks Sri Lanka Cricket”, Aroos’s counsel had raised a preliminary objection that the image of SLC was affected not by Mr. Aroos committing the alleged acts but by some mischievous elements leaking confidential information to the media.

However, the tribunal rejected this claim as Aroos himself had admitted that if he had not accepted money from Shashikala, the image of SLC would not have been tarnished.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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