Finally the Sri Lankan police on Friday completed the criminal investigation into the 2011 cricket World Cup final, concluding that they found no evidence of match-fixing by players to surrender before their their opponents (India).
The police had investigated the matter throughout the week by questioning the Former chief selector Aravinda de Silva, the team’s skipper Kumar Sangakkara and opening batsman Upul Tharanga about all the suspicious aspects that had been reverberating in the circles for years. A top police official stated that they were fully satisfied with the statements of the players and team officials as they had reasonably explained the factors that resulted in making a few changes in the final squad. He announced the closure of investigation in the said case by claiming that no irregularities and peccadilloes were found so far.
We found no evidence of match fixing by our legends, said the police official
Sri Lankan team had made four changes to the final squad of team that lost to India in Final match at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
The Police announced a sudden decision to end the investigation after the 2011 team’s vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene appeared before the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) office to record his statement. Jayawardene shared with the reporters that the then whole team members and the officials were ready to provide their maximum cooperation with the investigation team however Jayawardene was sent back by the SIU; refusing him to accept as witness and asking him to come later. The investigation team had called in Mahela Jayawardene after completing an interrogative session of around 10 hours with Kumar Sangakkara on Thursday.
The investigation has given birth to a social media repercussion against the current government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The drama started after the then sports minister (2011) and the current state minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage alleged that the final match was fixed and the Sri Lankan team deliberately lost to India to get illegal financial rewards.
ICC is not going to start any investigation in this regard, said GM Anti-corruption Unit
Harin Fernando, another ex-sports minister who familiarized anti-corruption laws in November, bashed Aluthgamage for levelling false allegations on the cricket legends of the country and demanded the initiation of prosecution against him. The new anti-corruption law presented “Match-fixing” as a criminal offence in which the offenders would face fines of up to 100 million rupees ($555,000) and up to 10 years’ jail.
Aluthgamage has been facing a widespread criticism and disparagement in the cricket-mad country for incriminating the former players in the blasphemy of match fixing. He however did not comment on the termination of investigation yet.
Sangakkara, who is also the president of Marylebone Cricket Club (England) had urged Aluthgamage to refer his allegations to the (ICC) however the General Manager of ICC anti-corruption unit Alex Marshall negated any such intention of investigating the fixing claims by the International Cricket Council.
Marshall said that they had not been provided with any evidence that could support the claims made so they could not doubt the integrity of the World Cup final 2011. Adding further he said that in case they got any evidence to corroborate the claims, they would certainly review their position in this regard.