Sri Lanka has ordered a criminal inquiry into claims that the 2011 World Cup cricket final was “sold” to India, officials said Monday. K.D.S Ruwanchandra, the secretary to the sports ministry said, “A criminal investigation has begun.”
Former sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage claimed earlier this month that Sri Lanka sold the match to ensure an Indian victory. He said, “I feel I can talk about it now. I am not connecting players, but some sections were involved.”
The 1996 World Cup-winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga of the island nation also cast doubt on the outcome and had previously called for an investigation. Local media reports said that Aravinda de Silva, former skipper and chief selector for 2011 finals was summoned on Tuesday for an interview with the investigators.
Sri Lanka lost the final at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium by six wickets despite starting off strongly. Sri Lanka batted first and scored 274/6 off 50 overs. When Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar was out for 18 they stood in a commanding position.
But India turned the game dramatically, thanks in part to poor fielding and bowling by Sri Lanka, who were led by Kumar Sangakkara.
Sangakkara had said that Aluthgamage should share his claims with the International Cricket Council, the global governing body.
International cricket in Sri Lanka has previously been linked to corruption allegations, including claims of match-fixing ahead of a 2018 Test against England.
Earlier this month, the Sri Lankan cricket board said the ICC was investigating three unnamed ex-players over corruption claims. Match-fixing was made a criminal offense in November. Offenders face fines of up to 100 million rupees ($555,000) and up to 10 years’ jail.