SL says pitch-fixing claims 'difficult to believe'
Colombo: Sri Lanka's cricket board on Monday described allegations of pitch-tampering at Galle International Stadium as "difficult to believe" but agreed to cooperate fully with an international investigation.
TV news channel Al Jazeera broadcast a documentary Sunday showing a groundsman and a player allegedly discussing altering the pitch at Galle during Australia's 229-run loss in the second Test against Sri Lanka in 2016.
Australia lost all their 20 wickets and were beaten inside three days.
Galle groundsman Tharanga Indika and professional cricketer Tharindu Mendis also allegedly speculated about fixing the pitch to ensure a result in under four days in the Test against England in November.
Both men have been suspended by Sri Lanka Cricket pending the outcome of an investigation by the International Cricket Council. A third man, provincial coach Jeevantha Kulathunga, was also suspended.
But the board's vice-president Mohan de Silva said there had been no complaints about the Galle pitch from captains, umpires or the referee during the match between Australia and Sri Lanka in 2016.
"There is no need to investigate the Test. Players did not complain. Captains report, umpires report and the match referee's report did not say anything about the pitch," he told reporters. "There is nothing adverse about the pitch. It is difficult to believe there was any wrongdoing." Indika and Mendis were stood down Sunday after a trailer for the Al Jazeera documentary was aired.
Kulathunga was suspended after the full programme by the Qatari channel alleged corruption at the highest levels of world cricket.