World Cup 2011 final fixing allegations: SL police questions De Silva

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Sri Lanka police questioned former captain Aravinda de Silva on Tuesday over the recent allegations made by former Sri Lanka sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage claiming that Sri Lanka ‘sold’ the World Cup 2011 final to ensure a victory for India, news agency PTI reported. The report has come a day after news agency AFP had reported that Sri Lanka police has opened a probe into the allegations. De Silva, who was the chairman of selectors for Sri Lanka team during the 2011 World Cup final, was questioned by the police for over six hours, the report added.

Aluthgamage has alleged that his country “sold” the game to India, a claim that was ridiculed by former captains Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene who demanded evidence from him. The allegations were made on June 18, but the former sports minister later backtracked, saying it was just his suspicion.

A special police investigation unit recorded Aluthgamage’s statement last week. De Silva, who was the man of the match in the 1996 World Cup final which Sri Lanka won, was summoned by the police on Tuesday to record his statement

Police sources said that Upul Tharanga, the left-handed opener who played the 2011 final at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, would be quizzed next.

De Silva, in a column on The Sunday Times earlier this month had refuted the allegations, and urged SLC, BCCI and the ICC to investigate the matter to clear out any doubts on the subject. “We cannot let people get away all the time with lies. I request everyone, ICC, BCCI, and SLC to investigate this immediately.

“Just like we cherished our World Cup victory, players like Sachin (Tendulkar) cherish these moments for the rest of their lives. I think in the interest of Sachin and the millions of cricket fans across India, it’s the duty of the Indian government and their cricket board to initiate an impartial inquiry to see whether they have won a fixed World Cup,” he had written in his column. He also added that he was willing to travel to India to take part in an investigation despite the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2011 World Cup final saw Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara electing to bat after winning the toss. Mahela Jayawardena scored a brilliant century and India were asked to chase down a target of 275. With the brilliance of Gautam Gambhir (97) and then skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91*), India achieved the target with six wickets in hand to win the trophy for the second time after 1983.