Sri Lanka players have demanded an immediate inquiry into the ‘disparaging and hurtful’ match-fixing allegations made by former cricketer P. Wickremesinghe against the current national team. The former World Cup winner has accused the side on national TV of fixing games for money.
Sri Lanka cricketers have called on the board to probe into the match-fixing allegations made by former selector Pramodaya Wickremesinghe against the side following their loss to Zimbabwe in the fourth ODI in July, earlier this year.
Wickremesinghe, the former Lankan fast bowler who was a part of their 1996 World Cup winning side, had accused the national side of fixing matches for money after Sri Lanka lost the fourth ODI and consequently the series to Zimbabwe by the Duckworth-Lewis method.
The accusations haven’t been taken lightly by the players as 40 of them, including Test captain Dinesh Chandimal and ODI captain Upul Tharanga, have signed a petition urging Sri Lanka Cricket to look into the matter. They have challenged Wickremesinghe to prove his allegations that he made on national television.
A statement released by the SLC, read, “The cricketers in a petition signed by all including both captain Dines Chandimal and Upul Tharanga to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have drawn attention to what they say was shockingly disparaging and hurtful statements by Wickremesinghe to a private television channel that tend to give the general public a suspicious impression about them.”
In his allegations, the 68-year-old had mainly questioned why the then skipper, Angelo Mathews, came up at number three instead of his customary position of five and why had he not let Lasith Malinga bowl “during a crucial stage of the match”.
A player, who has signed the petition, told Cricbuzz, “As a captain, sometimes you have to take instant decisions. The allegations levelled on not bowling Lasith has been done without finding the facts. The light was fading and the umpires informed Mathews that play will be suspended if a fast bowler bowled.”
The loss at Zimbabwe was followed by a 9-0 drubbing by India across all formats, which has made things terrible for the Lankan cricketers now. However, their direct qualification into the 2019 World Cup following West Indies' loss to England in the 1 ODI will surely bring a glimmer hope amidst the chaos.