Photograph courtesy: NAPARAZZI/Flickr
Sri Lanka’s Cricket World Cup final match-fixing controversy has taken yet another twist today with former captain Kumar Sangakarra the latest individual to be summoned by the Special Investigation Unit of the Sports Ministry, after allegations of match fixing by Sri Lanka’s former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.
Sangakarra will follow both former opener Upul Tharanga and selector Aravinda de Silva in giving statements on the most recent debacle within Sri Lankan cricket. As confirmed by KDS Ruwanachandra, current sport ministry secretary, the investigation is “handled by the independent Special Investigation Unit on sports-related offences.”
Former Sports Minister Aluthgamage alleged last week that Sri Lanka had “sold the 2011 World Cup final” to India in Mumbai which they lost by 6 wickets. No evidence or names of cricketers involved have been disclosed in the public domain. However, Aluthgamage did refer to the team selection for the final playing a part in his accusations.
“I tell you today that we sold the 2011 World Cup final,” Aluthgamage said earlier this month. “Even when I was sports minister I believed this. In 2011, we were to win, but we sold the match. I feel I can talk about it now. I am not connecting players, but some sections were involved.”
Such allegations are not entirely new to Sri Lankan cricket with match fixing allegations a regular occurrence. Just last month, an investigation into the conduct of 3 former players was launched by the International Cricket Council (ICC) over corruption claims. In recent years, a letter from the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit in 2018 stated that out of the 12 test playing cricketing nations, Sri-Lanka had the highest number of match-fixing allegations.
Last year, then sports minister Harin Fernando declared "Sri Lanka's cricket administration is corrupt from top to bottom."