June 20 (India Today) – Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene responded to former Sri Lankan sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s claim that he did not refer to any player when he spoke about the 2011 World Cup final.
Aluthgamage said that he referred to officials in the cricketing field when he alleged that the 2011 World Cup final was fixed and not the players. He further revealed that some cricket officials purchased car companies and started new businesses after the team’s loss.
Aluthgamage stressed that the team was changed at the last moment without consultation, although he was the sports minister then.
“Mahela has said that the circus has started. I don’t understand why Sanga and Mahela are making a big deal about this,” Aluthgamage said. “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,” Aluthgamage told Daily Mirror.
Mahela retweeted the article and wrote,” When someone accuses that we sold the 2011 WC naturally it’s a big deal cus we don’t know how one could fix a match and not be part of the playing 11? Hopefully, we will get enlightened after 9 years…????”
On Thursday, Mahela had rubbished former Sri Lankan sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s claim that the islanders ‘sold’ the 2011 World Cup final. Mahela had hinted at political reasons behind the allegation and asked the former sports minister to provide evidence to his claim.
Notably, Aluthgamage, who was the country’s sports minister, when Sri Lanka reached the 2011 World Cup final hinted at match-fixing but said he ‘is not connecting players’.
“I tell you today that we sold the 2011 World Cup finals,” Aluthgamage told Sirasa TV, as quoted by AFP.
“Even when I was a 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.”
This is not the first time allegations of match-fixing related to the 2011 World Cup final have cropped up. World Cup-winning former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga had alleged fixing in the final and called for an inquiry.
“When we lost, I was distressed and I had a doubt. We must investigate what happened to Sri Lanka at the 2011 World Cup final,” Ranatunga had said in July 2017.