Former Sri Lanka batsman Aravinda de Silva on Monday (June 22) refuted the claims of the 2011 Cricket World Cup being fixed and urged the International Cricket Council (ICC), the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), and the country’s board to investigate the “lies”.
In an interview with local TV channel Sirasa, former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage alleged that the national cricket team’s loss to India in the 2011 World Cup final was fixed by “certain parties”.
Addressing the allegations, de Silva, who was the Chairman of Selectors of SLC, told Sri Lankan newspaper Sunday Times: “We cannot let people get away all the time with lies. I request everyone, ICC, BCCI, and SLC to investigate this immediately.”
He said that legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, who won their maiden World Cup after playing for so long deserve every bit of respect they earned after the win.
“Just like we cherished our World Cup victory, players like Sachin (Tendulkar) cherish these moments for the rest of their lives. I think in the interest of Sachin and the millions of cricket fans across India, it’s the duty of the Indian government and their cricket board to initiate an impartial inquiry to see whether they have won a fixed World Cup,” he said.
“When serious allegations like these are being made, it affects a lot of people. In this case not only us, the selectors, the players, and the team management but Indian cricketers who deservingly won the world title. We need to clear this once and for all for the greater good of the game we love,” he added.
Sri Lanka’s sports ministry on Friday ordered an investigation into Aluthgamage’s allegations.
The sports minister Dullas Alahapperuma has ordered the investigation and asked for a report on its progress every two weeks, the ministry said in a statement.
The sports secretary, KADS Ruwanchandra, on Alahapperuma’s directive, had complained to the ministry’s investigation unit on Saturday.
Aluthgamage has alleged that his country “sold” the game to India, a claim that was ridiculed by former captains Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene who demanded evidence from him.
Set a target of 275, India claimed the trophy thanks to the brilliance of Gautam Gambhir (97) and then skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91).
“Today I am telling you that we sold the 2011 world cup, I said this when I was the sports minister,” Aluthgamage, who was the sports minister at the time, said.
“As a country I do not want to announce this. I can’t exactly remember if it was 2011 or 2012. But we were to win that game,” added the politician, who was the state minister of power in the current caretaker government which is in-charge until the election to be held on August 5.
The captain of Sri Lanka at that time, Sangakkara, asked him to produce evidence for an anti-corruption probe.
“He needs to take his evidence to the ICC and the Anti corruption and Security Unit so the claims can be investigated thoroughly,” he tweeted.
Jayawardene, also a former captain who scored a hundred in that game, ridiculed the charge.
“Is the elections around the corner…like the circus has started…names and evidence?” he asked in a tweet.
Aluthgamage said that in his opinion no players were involved in fixing the result, “but certain parties were.”
Aluthgamage had also previously hinted that the game was fixed.
Both Aluthgamage and the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa were among the invitees at the final played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Former World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga had also called for a probe on alleged match-fixing in the 2011 World Cup final.
(With inputs from agencies)