Sri Lanka has been rated as the most corrupt cricket nation by the International Cricket Council, the country's sports minister said Monday.
The world cricket governing body feels "Sri Lanka's cricket administration is corrupt from top to bottom", Harin Fernando said, adding that he had been shown a confidential report on the matter at a Dubai meeting.
A host of scandals have rocked Sri Lankan cricket in recent years including a match-fixing controversy revealed in a sting operation carried out for a TV documentary, and the island nation has been facing regular investigations from the ICC anti-corruption unit.
The crisis-ridden Sri Lanka Cricket is to hold delayed elections in February. Former president Thilanga Sumathipala has been accused of violating ICC rules by holding office despite alleged links to gambling. He denies the charges.
"Unfortunately Sri Lanka is being ranked as one of the worst or the top worst country for cricket corruption," Fernando told reporters after returning from the meeting with ICC anti-corruption chief Alex Marshall.
"They told me that the problem was not limited to bookies, but even the local game's links with the underworld," he said, adding that the corruption was more to do with cricket administration than players.
Last month former Sri Lankan fast bowler Dilhara Lokuhettige was suspended for corruption during a limited over league in 2017.
Lokuhettige was the third Sri Lankan player charged for violating the anti-corruption code following cases against former captain and ex-chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya and former paceman Nuwan Zoysa.
Jayasuriya was charged for failing to cooperate with a match-fixing probe and concealing information. Zoysa was suspended over match-fixing accusations.