LPL terminates Dambulla Thunders following owner's arrest on match-fixing allegations

Tamim Rahman was arrested under the 2019 Prevention of Offences relating to sports law

By Web Desk
May 22, 2024
Tamim Rahman being escorted to prison after his arrest. - AFP  

The Lanka Premier League (LPL) has immediately terminated its contract with Dambulla Thunders, one of the five participating teams, following the arrest of Thunders owner Tamim Rahman in Colombo on Wednesday over match-fixing allegations.

Rahman was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport under the 2019 Prevention of Offences relating to sports law, which is governed by Sri Lanka's sports ministry.

Rahman is a British-Bangladeshi citizen whose arrest was confirmed by an official from the Special Investigation Unit for the Prevention of Offenses Relating to Sports at the Sports Ministry.

The Colombo Magistrate’s Court has remanded Rahman’s custody until May 31 though the charges have not been revealed to their full extent.

Rahman’s Imperial Sports Group bought the Dambulla franchise in April.

Sri Lanka is the first country in South Asia that has criminalised the act of match-fixing and other corruption in sports.

They passed a law in 2019 to counter the crime and anyone caught can be jailed for up to 10 years and pay fines as well.

The law also caters to those who didn’t fix matches but were reached out by fixers and failed to report the incident to the authorities.

Yoni Patel and P Akash, two Indian nationals were recently forced to abandon their passports as both have been accused of match-fixing in the Legends Cricket League (LCL) in Colombo.

Patel and Yoni are currently on bail after they tried to fix games in the LCL which was played from, March 8 to March 19. Patel also owns a team in the league.

Despite all the chaos surrounding the LPL, the league is set to begin on July 1 and will end on July 21.

The league has faced countless obstacles as it was set to begin in 2018 and was delayed a few times due to issues in the management of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

The B-Love Kandy is the current defending champion of LPL. They won the title last year by defeating Dambulla Aura in the tournament's final.