FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA

For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya

Cricket World Cup: Jayawardene outraged by TV remark

Mahela Jayawardana

BBC

Sri Lanka vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene is considering legal action in response to commentary that implied he was guilty of match-fixing.

A state television broadcast suggested Jayawardene deliberately played badly for financial gain in Saturday’s Cricket World Cup defeat by Pakistan.

Jayawardene said his lawyer was drafting a letter to “get to the bottom” of the accusation. The allegation was also levelled at batsman Thilan Samaraweera.

Sri Lanka lost the game against Pakistan by 11 runs, with Jaywardene scoring two runs while Samaraweera scored one.

A commentary on Sunday on Sri Lankan state TV network, ITN, written by the editor of a state newspaper, Mahinda Abeysundara, said a businessman had bet about 18,000 dollars on a Pakistan victory and that there had therefore been what he called a “chorus to change the game”.The commentary was accompanied by slow-motion extracts from the match, sad music and blurry shots implying financial impropriety.

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