Sri Lanka detains five Indians over match-fixing fears

Money match-fixing (File)
Money match-fixing (File)

Colombo - Sri Lanka cricket's anti-corruption unit detained five Indian spectators on suspicion of match-fixing during Sunday's third and final women's ODI between the hosts and India, an official said.

The five were initially asked to leave the ground at Katunayake, just north of the capital Colombo, and later detained by police for investigations, the official said.

"We felt their behaviour was suspicious at the grounds and all of them were seen excessively communicating on their phones," the Sri Lanka cricket official, who declined to be named, told AFP. "We exercised our right to remove them from the ground and the police took over the investigation."

Authorities believe that the suspects may have had links with foreign gambling operations. Betting on sports is illegal in Sri Lanka. Police said they were questioning the suspects.

Sri Lanka won Sunday's match by three wickets, but India won the three-match tournament 2-1.

Last month, two Indians were apprehended in Sri Lanka after officials spotted them behaving suspiciously and making repeated calls on their mobile phones during a domestic T20 tournament match.

Since last month Sri Lanka Cricket has deployed more anti-corruption officials at match venues.

Sri Lanka has also announced plans for tougher laws against sports corruption and a special police unit to deal with match-fixing following an Al-Jazeera documentary in May exposing corruption in global cricket in which three Sri Lankan officials were filmed agreeing to sway matches.

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