Remember the tall lanky pacer from the island jewel that is Sri Lanka, one who could generate tremendous bounce and pace, and often in the same delivery? The high-arm action, the lanky built, the man whose deliveries had a lot of carry, enough to trouble some of the best willowers of the game! Well, there was a time where it was labelled that Nuwan Zoysa could well become the next Chaminda Vaas, or if not, then at least, touch the level of greatness that Vaas brought to the game.
But the same pace bowler now finds himself banned from all sorts of cricket for a period of not less than six years. The reason? Attempt to fix matches. Painful as it sounds, yet another cricketer has fallen from grace and finds himself drawn to the unholy, murky waters of match-fixing, an aspect of the game that brings sheer wretchedness and dirt to a sport otherwise hailed as the gentleman’s game!
The accusation levelled against the former Sri Lankan fast bowler and coach is not only that he was found guilty of trying to fix matches; as a matter of fact, he also failed to report corrupt practices or approaches.
His association, as it has been found, was with an Indian bookie.
Furthermore, here is what a report published on revered Indian news platform NDTV had to say:
The ban on Zoysa, a left-arm seamer, is backdated to October 31, 2018, when he was provisionally suspended. “In his role as a national coach, he should have acted as a role model. Instead, he became involved with a corrupter and attempted to corrupt others,” Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – Integrity Unit said in a release.
“Contriving to fix a game betrays the basis of sporting principles. It will not be tolerated in our sport.”
He was someone who was blessed with a natural talent to make the ball talk, on nearly any condition. It’s a pity that his international career never bloomed to the peaks one felt it would so easily have reached, but nevertheless, Nuwan Zoysa represented Sri Lanka for 30 Tests as well as 95 One Day Internationals. He was, rather surprisingly, originally charged back in the year 2018.
It has been reported that Nuwan Zoysa was introduced to the bookie during 2017, in the city of Colombo whilst he was still functioning in the capacity of the Sri Lanka A team’s bowling coach.
That being said, here is what the ICC judgement had to say on the matter:
“At (Mr W)’s request, Mr Zoysa approached (Player A) late in 2017 and askedhim whether, in connection with Sri Lanka’s then upcoming series againstBangladesh and/or Zimbabwe, he would be willing to give away 12-15 runs in an over while bowling, or to get out deliberately when batting.”
All of that being said, what a pity, what a real pity it is to note that the same Sri Lanka that has gone on to produce some of the finest, greatest players in names like Aravinda Di Silva, Arjuna Ranatunga, Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara has also gone on to play a part in blemish with the heinous and utterly unsporting acts like Nuwan Zoysa.