Sri Lankan former cricketer Upul Tharanga has been summoned to appear before a special investigative unit in response to startling allegations of indulging himself in the malicious act of match-fixing in the 2011 World Cup final. Several other senior players including Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara’s name has also popped up.
Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who was the sports minister of Sri Lanka in 2011, is the one who has come up with these accusations. His contentions are said to be based on the four changes that Sri Lankan cricket team made in their playing squad on the final day. However, it looks like merely a suspicion as the former Parliamentarian fails to provide any solid evidence to back his claim.
The senior players and team management have repeatedly insisted that the changes were made in response to the minor injury suffered by Angelo Mathews and Muttiah Muralitharan before the match.
Earlier, it was Aravinda de Silva, who was grilled for six long hours by the special unit, headed by Jagath Fonseka. Aravind De Silva was the chief selector of the Sri Lankan cricket team at that time.
“Based on the statement given by Aravinda de Silva today, we have decided to summon a player from the 2011 squad, Upul Tharanga, tomorrow to record his statement,” said Jagath Fonseka to the local press.
Tharanga, in his days, was an explosive opening batsman known for his virtuosity and audacious strokeplay. He has featured in 31 Test, 235 ODI and 23 T-20 matches for Sri Lanka.
In the World Cup final against India, the lanky left-handed batsman failed to turn up to the occasion. He scored just 2 runs off 20 balls before falling prey to Zaheer Khan.
Jayawardane, another player who has been summoned, scored a brilliant century in the match to propel Sri Lanka to a respectable total of 274 in 50 overs. However, his century went in vain as India chased down the target, courtesy heroic efforts from Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni.