A NEW documentary will air allegations that match fixers corrupted a groundsman who helped prepare the pitch for an Australia Test match in Sri Lanka two years ago.
Al Jazeera is set to release a documentary airing allegations that the pitch used for the 2016 Test match Australia lost in two and a half days in Galle had been doctored by criminals.
Allegations of match fixing and pitch doctoring have hit cricket once again with fresh claims that the Galle Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka in 2016 was rigged by underworld figures who reached out to a member of the ground staff.
A new documentary to be released by Al Jazeera alleges criminals placed large bets on the match not ending in a draw. The fixers got their wish with a result coming in just over two days.
Australia collapsed on the third day losing the match by 229 runs. The tourists lost 20 wickets in just over 500 balls with Sri Lanka’s spinners proving to be a nightmare on a pitch that was doctored.
It’s alleged a section on the pitch where the spinners would land the ball had been severely impacted.
Australia was heavily criticised for their performance in that match with several batsmen scoring in single digits. Furthermore, Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns were cut from the team following the dismal showing.
The Al-Jazeera team secretly recorded former first-class player Robin Morris, Dubai-based Indian businessman Gaurav Rajkumar, former Sri Lankan star Terindu Mendis and the Galle stadium assistant manager, Tharanga Indika discussing the scam.
The men can be heard explaining how wire brushes used to sweep the pitch were used more firmly to gain the effect.
Sri Lanka celebrate after the 2016 victory in Galle.
“One thing he can do during the match is the brush thing,” Mendis explained.
“You just do it slowly. What they do then is press it inward,” Morris added.
In the documentary, groundsman Indika openly talks about how he can make the pitch spinner friendly and extremely difficult for batsmen.
“In that five-day match, we prepared the wicket poorly without using a roller. In that way we made a spinning wicket,” he said.
Vision also captures Morris motioning towards Indika, explaining how it happens.
“What happens is he — we — can make a pitch to do whatever we want it to do.
“Because he’s the main curator. He is the assistant manager and curator of the Galle stadium.
“Yes, if you want a pitch for spin bowling or pace bowling or batting, it can be done,” Indika said.
“We leave the wicket uncovered for about two weeks. Don’t water it and this will cause damage to the wicket,” he says.
The ICC is investigating the claims while the men captured in the vision say they thought they were taking part in a movie.
Match fixers have been caught discussing plans to rig the outcome of England’s first Test in Sri Lanka, scheduled to begin on November 6.
The program is scheduled to be aired on Sunday 27th May.
UPDATE Watch the program in full: