Former Sri Lanka skipper Sanath Jayasuriya has given his statement after being slapped with with a two-year ban by the ICC’s anti-corruption unit on Tuesday. The legendary batsman was charged last year over refusal to cooperate with an investigation into corruption in Sri Lankan cricket. Jayasuriya had refused to hand over his mobile phone to support the investigation despite being asked by the ACU to do so. He had later vehemently denied involvement in corruption, including match-fixing and pitch-fixing.

According to a media release from the world cricket body, Jayasuriya admitted to being in breach of two offences under Article 2.4.6 and 2.4.7 of the anti-corruption code.

Sanath Jayasuriya (Credits: AFP)

As a result of the admissions, Sanath Jayasuriya has accepted a sanction of a two-year period of ineligibility. Jayasuriya has now reacted to the ban, saying he accepted the charges only because of his “love” for the game.

“I decided to admit the said charges at the first instance for the love of the Sport of Cricket, for the greater good and to protect the integrity of the Sport of Cricket,” Jayasuriya said in a statement.

“It is unfortunate that even though I provided the ICC ACU with all the information as demanded by the officials the ICC ACU thought it fit to charge me under the Code although there were no allegations of corruption, betting or misuse of inside information.”

“I have always put country first and the cricket loving public are the best witnesses to this aspect. I profusely thank the public of Sri Lanka and my fans for having stood by me during this difficult period,” he added.

Sanath Jayasuriya is one of the most decorated players in the history of Sri Lanka’s cricket. He is the only player to score over 12,000 runs and capture more than 300 wickets in One Day International cricket. Jayasuriya shot to the limelight after playing an integral role in Sri Lanka’s triumphant 1996 World Cup-campaign. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament

He led Sri Lanka from 1999 to 2003.  The southpaw retired from Test cricket in December 2007 and from limited overs cricket in June 2011.

Sanath Jayasuriya (Credits: Getty)

Prior to that, he represented Sri Lanka in 110 Tests, 445 ODIs and 31 T20Is. He scored over 20,000 international runs in addition to picking up 400 wickets across formats. In 2013, Sri Lanka Cricket appointed him as the chairman of cricket selection committee. Sri Lanka won the ICC World Twenty20 for the first time in 2014, during his tenure as the chief selector.