Senanayake granted bail over charges related to match-fixing

Sachithra Senanayake is being taken to a court in Colombo AFP/Getty Images

Sachithra Senanayake, the former Sri Lanka offspinner, has been granted bail by the Colombo Chief Magistrate's court, the police media division has confirmed. Senanayake had been arrested on September 6 on charges related to match-fixing. Bail was granted on two sureties of LKR 5,000,000 each, while the previously court-imposed travel ban is still in effect. He will appear before court again on December 1, 2023.

Senananayake, 38, is alleged to have attempted to convince players to fix in the 2020 Lanka Premier League. Although he was not himself a player in this tournament, and is understood to have been overseas at the time, Senanayake is alleged to have contacted more than one player taking part in the LPL. This information was then allegedly conveyed to the tournament's anti-corruption officers.

The arrest was made under the Prevention of Offences Relating to Sports Act, which was introduced in 2019. Under this law, "any person who solicits, entices, persuades, or instructs any person… to influence the result, progress, conduct … of any sport, commits the offence of corruption in sports". This is the first arrest made under this act.

Senanayake had had something of a storied career before being pulled up on his action in 2014. He'd been a key part of Sri Lanka's triumphant 2014 T20 World Cup campaign, and had also been bought for USD $625,000 by Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2013 IPL season.

Although he made a return in 2014 with a remodeled bowling action, his career declined thereafter. He played the last of his 49 ODIs in December 2015, and the last of his 24 T20Is in 2016. He also played one Test in 2013, but didn't take any wickets.