Former Sri Lanka Sports Minister backs his allegations made on match-fixing in 2011 World Cup final

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Former Sri Lanka Sports Minister backs his allegations made on match-fixing in 2011 World Cup final
Kumar Sangakkara and Mahindananda Aluthgamage. (Image Source: Twitter)

The match on April 2, 2011, is one for folklore in the history of Indian cricket, as the ‘Men in Blue’ went on to win their third World title.

India chased down 275 set by Sri Lanka, thanks to vital contributions from Gautam Gambhir (97) and captain MS Dhoni (91 not out).

However, the Islander’s defeat did not go down well with the Lankan cricketing fraternity, as many, including former captain Arjuna Ranatunga, demanded an investigation of the summit clash.

One of the many voices which were vocal was that of former Sri Lanka Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage. During his interview with local TV channel ‘Sirasa’, Aluthgamage claimed that the final was fixed.

Now, the current Sri Lanka Sports Minister Dullas Alahapperuma initiated the investigation and demanded a report explaining progress every week. On the other hand, sports secretary KADS Ruwanchandra, on Alahapperuma’s directive, has complained to the ministry’s investigation unit.

However, the allegations did not go down well with the former Lankan legends, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena.

Sangakkara was the captain of the Lankan side then while Jayawardena smashed a memorable ton in the finals at Wankhede.

“He needs to take his ‘evidence’ to the ICC and the Anti-corruption and Security Unit so the claims can be investigated thoroughly,” Sangakkara wrote on Twitter.

“Is the elections around the corner…like the circus has started…names and evidence,” Jayawardena responded with his tweet.

Responding to Sangakkara and Jayawardene’s tweets, the former sports minister said that he lodged a complaint to ICC in 2012 regarding the matter and is still awaiting a response.

“The team who played the final match was not the team we had selected, finalized and sent off. At the last moment, without the consultation of either me as the then minister of Sports or officials of the Sri Lanka Cricket Control Board, four new players had been included to the team,” Aluthgamage told Daily Mirror.

“We saw this only when we watched the match. How could four players get replaced without due approvals and consultations? The new players were inexperienced compared to the rest of the team. Why did they do that out of the blue?” added the former minister.

Further, Aluthgamage revealed that an Indian newspaper knew about the changes in the Sri Lankan team on the eve of the final, while the sports minister was not intimated.

“Mahela has said that the circus has started. I don’t understand why Sanga and Mahela are making a big deal about this. I am not referring to any of our players. Everyone is talking about just two minutes of a half an hour interview I gave to a TV channel. Even Arjuna Ranatunga has openly talked about match-fixing issues earlier,” concluded Aluthgamage.

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CATEGORY: India, Kumar Sangakkara, News, Sri Lanka

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