Undercover reporters with Al Jazeera have exposed a plot to fix England’s first Test in Sri Lanka in November, claiming a local groundsman had agreed to doctor the pitch to prevent a draw.
In footage to be broadcast on Sunday by the Doha-based TV company, Tharanga Indika, an assistant manager at the Galle International Stadium, is asked whether he can ensure the surface will produce a result, helping illegal bookmakers set their odds. Indika replies: ‘Yes, I can. I can confirm it in advance one week before.’
Indika tells the reporter that ‘three or four’ of the Galle groundstaff will be able to help him, adding: ‘We leave the wicket uncovered for about two weeks. Don’t water it and this will cause damage to the wicket.’
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It is also alleged by Al Jazeera that Indika had doctored the pitch during India’s visit to Galle in July 2017, when the tourists won by 304 runs. Indika has reportedly denied any involvement in the scam, saying he was merely