Former Sri Lanka Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has claimed that the conclusion of investigations into the 2011 Cricket World Cup match-fixing allegations is wrong and not acceptable. He questioned why the SL police prematurely closed the investigation, not questioning other officials.
Sri Lanka's sports ministry’s special investigation unit questioned Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Upul Tharanga, and Aravinda de Silva after which, subsequently, the cricketers and selectors were cleared of fixing allegations. The investigation into the 2011 World Cup final was dropped after no evidence was found to support former sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage's allegations. However, that has not gone down well with Aluthgamage, who has now stated that the conclusion is wrong and not acceptable.
“I do not know based on what conditions did the Special Investigation Unit on Prevention of Offenses Relating to Sports' summoned Sri Lanka Cricket Captain, Former Captains Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena?” questioned Aluthgamage, reported newsfirst.lk.
“When Kumar Sangakkara was summoned to record a statement on the match-fixing claims, his attorneys-at-law had informed the Special Investigation Unit on Prevention of Offenses Relating to Sports’ that cricket players were not liable to provide statements regarding this, as the act was not valid for the claim,” Aluthgamage added.
While SIU recorded statements from three players and chief selectors, Aluthgamage questioned why the SIU failed to record statements from the then Chairman and Secretary to the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, Executive officers and other officials connected to the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Aluthgamage noted an investigation in this regard should be conducted by the International Cricket Council, even though the ICC clearly stated that they have no reason to doubt the integrity of the final.
“In the statement, I clearly stated from whom information needs to be retrieved. Is it acceptable to close an investigation after recording evidence form only one person? This is how Sri Lanka Police used to close files in the past as well. This needs to be investigated by the ICC. Police Spokesperson made a very unfair statement recently; I requested the President that an investigation be conducted on this as well. Sri Lanka Police have passed the blame on to me, to cover their mistakes,” Former Minister Aluthgamage further noted.
“General Manager of the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit, Alex Marshall sent me an e-mail. I have provided more information to him in this regard and I will continue to do so. The International Cricket Council will investigate this. Please do not politicize this. The ones who are connected to fixing the 2011 Cricket World Cup are now spending huge amounts of money to cover this. I request the Ministry of Sports and the Sri Lanka Cricket Council to support the ICC investigation.”