Sri Lanka police on Friday (July 3) dropped the match-fixing allegation into the 2011 World Cup final due to lack of evidence in the probe.
The police said that they’re dropping the investigation as they’re satisfied with the statements of former players and ex-chief selector Aravinda de Silva, who were questioned regarding the case.
“We are satisfied with their explanation. The inquiry is now closed. They had reasonable explanations about the changes that were made to the final squad. We found no evidence of any wrongdoing,” a top police official told AFP.
According to media reports, the sudden decision of dropping the probe came hours after the national team’s former vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene arrived at the SIU office to give a statement.
“We will give our maximum cooperation,” Jayawardena told reporters before leaving the SIU.
On Thursday (July 2), former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara spent 10 hours recording his statement to a Special Investigation Unit probing the allegations by the country’s former sports minister that the teams 2011 World Cup final against India was fixed by “certain parties”.
An investigation was started into the 2011 World Cup final by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Sports, following former Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s allegations that the April 2, 2011 final was fixed even though no substantial proof has been furnished to corroborate the charge.
According to newswire.lk, Sangakkara, who captained Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup final, recorded his statement over 10 hours. However, the details of his deposition are not known as yet.
“Former Sri Lanka cricket Captain Kumar Sangakkara recorded a statement for nearly 10 hours at the Special Police Investigation Division of the Ministry of Sports today,” the website reported.
It also reported that members of a youth outfit — Samagi Tharuna Balawegaya — gathered outside the SLC office with posters alleging that a legendary cricketer was being harassed by authorities.
Sangakkara, according to a report in Island, was supposed to record his statement next week but requested the police for an early deposition.
Already, former Chairman of the 2011 National Selection Committee Aravinda de Silva and opener Upul Tharanga, have recorded their respective statements.
Till now, none of the cricketers, who have deposed, have made any public comments.
After asserting that the match was “sold” in Sri Lanka to India, the island nation’s former sports minister Aluthgamage called his claim a “suspicion” that he wants investigated.
Set a target of 275, India clinched the trophy thanks to the brilliance of Gautam Gambhir (97) and then skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91).
Both Aluthgamage and the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa were among the invitees at the final played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Following his allegations, Aravinda de Silva, the former great who was the then chairman of selectors, has urged the BCCI to conduct its own investigation.
De Silva has said he is willing to travel to India to take part in such an investigation despite the current COVID-19 threat.
(With inputs from agencies)