Not so long ago, former Sri Lanka sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage had claimed that the Sri Lankan team ‘sold’ the 2011 World Cup final to ensure India takes the coveted trophy. Now, as per the latest reports, the Sri Lanka government has ordered a criminal probe into the allegations.
“A criminal investigation has begun,” said KDS Ruwanchandra, the secretary to the sports ministry, as quoted by news agency AFP.
AFP also revealed that former Sri Lanka captain Aravinda de Silva, who was the chief selector of the Sri Lanka team for 2011 final, was subpoenaed for an interview with the investigators on Tuesday.
Earlier this month during an interview with local TV channel ‘Sirasa’, Aluthgamage had said that the 2011 World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka was fixed.
“I tell you today that we [Sri Lanka team] sold the 2011 World Cup. I tell this with responsibility. I don’t want to divulge too much for the sake of the country… I say the match against India, the one we could have won; we betrayed,” Aluthgamage had said
After Aluthgamage’s claims, De Silva had disproved the allegations but requested SLC, BCCI and the ICC to investigate the matter in order to clear the clouds of doubts.
“We cannot let people get away all the time with lies. I request everyone, ICC, BCCI, and SLC to investigate this immediately.”
“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,” De Silva had written in his column in The Sunday Times.
In the 2011 World Cup final, the Kumar Sangakkara-led side posted 274/6 with Mahela Jayawardene scoring an unbeaten 103. In response, India chased down a 275-run target thanks to the match-winning nineties from MS Dhoni (91 not out) and Gautam Gambhir (97). The ‘Men in Blue’ accomplished the target with six wickets in hand to lift the prestigious trophy after 28 years.