Arjuna Ranatunga has accused Sri Lanka of playing below par against India in the finals of the 2011 World Cup and demanded an investigation into the same. Ranatunga's demands come after Kumar Sangakkara lashed out against his statement which blamed Sangakkara for the decline of Sri Lankan cricket.
Arjuna Ranatunga and Kumar Sangakkara's spat continued with the former demanding an investigation into Sri Lanka's loss at the hands of India in the 2011 World Cup final, terming Sri Lanka's subpar performance as 'suspicious'.
Sri Lanka made a few changes to the side that won the semi-final and brought in Thisara Perera, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara and Chamara Kapugedera in place of Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath, Ajanta Mendis, and Chamara Silva respectively. Batting first, the Lankan Lions put on a competitive total of 274 on the board, but things did not end as pleased with the ball, as they failed to capitalise on early wickets and went on to lose the match by six wickets.
Speaking of Sri Lanka's performance in the final, Ranatunga said, "Investigations should be done on the World Cup final where Sri Lanka lost to India," reported Cricbuzz on Thursday (July 13).
"Investigations should be done on the World Cup final where Sri Lanka lost to India."
"I was also in India at the time and I was heartbroken after the loss while I also had doubts about it. I will open up about all this very soon with proof. Therefore if you are investigating, this is what you need to investigate about." he added.
The confrontation between the two former Sri Lankan skippers started after Ranatunga accused Sangakkara and Jayawardene of not grooming young talent which has deteriorated the quality of cricket in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka team recently suffered a historic loss at the hands of minnows Zimbabwe in a 5-match ODI series.
"In my career, when I reached a stage where I could take up responsibility, people like Duleep (Mendis) and Roy (Dias) dropped down the batting order and gave Aravinda (De Silva) and myself the opportunity to bat higher up the order," Ranatunga said.
"That made life much easier for us. Then we did the same when guys like Sanga (Kumar Sangakkara) and Mahela (Jayawardene) came along. But unfortunately that tradition wasn't followed. Sanga always batted at number three and Mahela always batted at number four."
However, Sangakkara did not let the comments slide by and defended himself against the accusations.
"I have batted from the opening position to No. 9 in the Sri Lanka ODI team," Sangakkara said. "In the 2007 World Cup, I batted at No. 4. Then after 2011, when Dinesh Chnadimal was doing very well at No. 3, I dropped down to No. 4.
"At the time I was even told by a coach that if the ball was swinging, I should bat up at 3 but if the conditions were favourable to batsmen, we should allow a youngster to move up that position," he added. "I am not someone who forced my way into the No 3 position. I had the belief that I could score runs whether I batted at No. 3 or 4 and I have done so too."
Sangakkara, on the other hand, also went on to demand an investigation into the lack of a security check, before the team was sent to tour Pakistan in 2009. The Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by terrorists on their way to the Gadaffi stadium during the second Test in Lahore that left several players injured, apart from the death of six security personnel.
"They didn't care about our safety during the 2009 tour of Pakistan," the southpaw accused the SLC administration. "They had no guarantee as to what would happen but they decided to send us on this seemingly suicidal journey anyway. They didn't listen to our security concerns before this tour. It eventually ended with some of our guys being shot and some of them badly injured."
Sangakkara's statements were aimed at Ranatunga's stint as the Asian Cricket Council chairman, but the 53-year old clarified that he wasn't incharge when the tour took place. "If Sangakkara wants an investigation, it should be done. Liyanagamage was the man in charge during that time."
"I was the Chairman of the Asian Cricket Council a few months before that and we had a successful Asia Cup campaign in Pakistan in July 2008. I was sacked towards the end of the year 2008 by the Sports Minister back then, Gamini Lokuge. I was not in charge when the 2009 Pakistan tour went ahead and I don't mind having an investigation on that."
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