Colombo: Sri Lanka Cricket has rubbished allegations of match-fixing that have cropped up against Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Smaraweera due to a TV report, condemning the channel for carrying a "baseless and demoralising" story.
While commentating on the World Cup match between the Lankans and Pakistan, which the hosts lost by 11 runs, the channel's anchor had said that Jayawardene and Smaraweera could have deliberately "changed the game" by scoring just two and one run respectively during the game.
The channel had also claimed that a local businessman had placed a USD 18,000 bet on the match.
"It is with deep regret that we note that a leading television channel in a special programme, namely 'Wimasuma', has stated that Sri Lanka has lost against Pakistan due to two of our leading players not getting runs in that game," Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement.
"Further, they added that the two players had failed intentionally, thereby implying that our players might have been involved in match-fixing," said SLC.
"SLC strongly condemns the bona fides of this anchor, who hosted the programme carrying a story that is baseless and thereby demoralising our players during the ongoing World Cup."
"SLC will take up the matter with the relevant authorities of this channel, based on the fact that this channel has brought great distress to two of our cricketers who have served the country with honour and dignity," it added.
Sri Lanka were chasing 277 in the match and ended it 266-9.
Jayawardene is already contemplating legal action against the channel.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan team manager Anura Tennekoon rejected suggestions that there might be an SLC or ICC inquiry against the players.
"Knowing both Mahela and Thilan, we feel there is no necessity to investigate the matter and as far as the ICC is concerned, they have the right to investigate but so far they have not brought anything on this," Tennekoon said.
"But we will discuss the matter with our lawyer as well."