In late May 2019, posts mourning the death of former Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya began circulating via Twitter and Facebook.
The circulating posts indicated that Sanath Jayasuriya died after being knocked down by a car while he was visiting Canada.
However, the claims are untrue. Sanath Jayasuriya is alive and well and has not been involved in a car accident.
The Times of India investigated the reports and has dismissed them as false. The Times contacted the Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi who confirmed that the death story was untrue.
A post was added to Sanath Jayasuriya’s official Facebook profile after the date of his supposed passing.
And, a tweet from an (unverified) Twitter account identified as ‘The Official Account of Sanath Jayasuriya” notes:
Please disregard fake news by malicious websites regarding my health and well being.
I am in Srilanka and have not visited Canada recently.Please avoid sharing fake news.
— Sanath Jayasuriya (@Sanath07) May 21, 2019
Other news outlets have also dismissed the death reports as untrue.
The circulating death rumours were apparently derived from a false report published on a “news” site called CBTV
The CBTV report noted:
Man who was knocked down by a Honda Civic vehicle in Canada yesterday sadly dies in hospital.
He passed away this morning – some few hours after sustaining serious injuries following the incident yesterday.
The man has been identified as Sanath Jayasuriya, former Sri Lankan cricketer.
The Sri Lankan Embassy in Canada has confirmed the identity of the 49 year old and said they were aware of his visit to Toronto, Canada.