Sri Lanka T20 team owner arrested for graft allegations

Thursday, May 23, 2024

COLOMBO: The foreign owner of a T20 cricket team in Sri Lanka’s Premier League (LPL) was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of corruption, police said, a day after a highly publicised player auction.

Tamim Rahman, owner of Dambulla Thunders and a British national of Bangladesh origin, was stopped at the country’s main airport before he boarded a flight to Dubai, police said. He was arrested following a court order to detain him on suspicion of match fixing, police and immigration officials told AFP. Rahman was remanded in custody till May 31 pending further investigations.

He was being investigated under two provisions of the sports act related to match fixing and attempting to organise betting. A special police unit dealing with corruption in sports carried out the arrest, the first involving an official of the LPL tournament since it began four years ago.

Those convicted under the sports act face potential heavy fines and jail sentences of up to 10 years. On Tuesday, Rahman’s Dambulla team spent $450,000 to buy 24 players, including the most expensive foreign player, Afghanistan’s all-rounder Karim Janat for $80,000.The five-team LPL tournament will start on July 1 with the final on July 21.