Colombo, July 3 (AFP/BBC): Friday: Sri Lankan police on Friday dropped a match-fixing investigation into the 2011 World Cup final, saying they found no evidence of Sri Lankan players letting their Indian opponents win.
Former chief selector Aravinda de Silva, ex-skipper Kumar Sangakkara and opening batsman Upul Tharanga were questioned this week over suspicions that have dogged the match for years.
“We are satisfied with their explanation,” a top police official told AFP. “The inquiry is now closed.”
“They had reasonable explanations about the changes that were made to the final squad,” the officer added. “We found no evidence of any wrongdoing.”
Sri Lanka made four changes to the team for the final that lost to India at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium.
The sudden decision to end the investigation came after the 2011 team’s vice captain Mahela Jayawardena arrived at the office of the Special Investigation Unit to give a statement.
Jayawardena was called in after Sangakkara was grilled for nearly 10 hours by a team of detectives on Thursday.
The investigation was triggered after Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who was sports minister in 2011, alleged that the finals was thrown by Sri Lanka to ensure an Indian victory.
Sangakkara, who is also president of England’s prestigious Marylebone Cricket Club, had asked Aluthgamage to refer his allegations to the International Cricket Council.
ICC Had No Suspicion
The International Cricket Council says it has “no reason to doubt the integrity” of the men’s 2011 World Cup final after claims of match-fixing.
There have been allegations Sri Lanka allowed India to win, but police in Sri Lanka have dropped their investigation.
Former captain Kumar Sangakkara and ex-batter Mahela Jayawardene were among those questioned by police.
“We have not been presented with any evidence that supports the claims made,” an ICC statement read.
Hosts India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets to win the trophy in 2011.
The allegations were made by Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who was Sri Lanka’s sports minister at the time.
“We have not been presented with any evidence which would merit launching an investigation,” the statement added.
“We take all allegations of this nature extremely seriously and should we receive any evidence to corroborate the claims, we will review our current position.”
( The picture at the top shows ex-Sports Minister Mahindanada Aluthgamage who made the charge)