Sri Lanka orders probe into fixing allegations over 2011 World Cup final
Sri Lanka has ordered a criminal probe into allegations of match-fixing regarding the 2011 World Cup final in Mumbai, officials said on Monday.
"A criminal investigation has begun," K.D.S. Ruwanchandra, the secretary to the sports ministry, told AFP.
"It is handled by the [police] independent Special Investigation Unit on sports-related offences."
Influential politician Mahindananda Aluthgamage stirred controversy earlier this month when he accused the Sri Lankan cricket team of having "sold" the final in 2011 to ensure an Indian victory.
Aluthgamage, who served as the country's sports minister from 2010-2015, did not explicitly name any player but cast doubt on the intentions of certain members of the side in the fateful encounter.
"I feel I can talk about it now. I am not connecting players, but some sections were involved," he said.
Additionally, the island nation's 1996 World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has previously called for an investigation on the same issue.
Local media reported that Aravinda de Silva, who was the chief selector at the time, had been summoned for an interview with investigators to get more information.
The World Cup final saw Sri Lanka lose to India by six wickets as skipper MS Dhoni struck the winning runs in emphatic style by depositing a huge maximum off Nuwan Kulasekara.
Sri Lanka put on a fighting effort with the bat by posting 274-6 in their 50 overs before mounting pressure with a couple of early wickets.
However, the progress fell apart in the face of poor fielding and bowling in the middle overs as India crossed the line to clinch their second title.
Kumar Sangakkara, who led the side in the agonising defeat, claimed that Aluthgamage needed to share his allegations with the International Cricket Council.
Mahela Jayawardene, centurion in the 2011 final, slammed the accusations in a series of tweets questioning the motives behind such remarks.
Nevertheless, Sri Lankan cricket has been linked to corruption allegations over the past few years with the ICC recently launching a probe against three unnamed ex-players.
Match-fixing in Sri Lanka was made a criminal offence in November 2019 with convicts set to be punished by fines up to $555,000 and a hefty jail sentence of 10 years.