The International Cricket Council (ICC) has responded to former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s allegations that the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final was fixed.
An official from the ICC has said that they were looking forward to talk to Aluthgamage to see if there are any matters worthy of investigation.
The Ministry of Sports too earlier launched an investigation into Aluthgamage’s allegation.
Former minister and MP who is contesting the General Elections from Kandy under the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) ticket in an interview with a TV channel last week said that the 2011 world cup final match was sold to India by certain parties.
Later on, he said this was not the first time he made such an allegation and in fact was the third occasion. He said he also informed the International Cricket Council (ICC) about the allegations back in the days.
He alleged certain cricket officials allegedly started new businesses and purchased car companies within a year of losing the final match.
However, many former Sri Lankan cricketers played down the allegations with Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardana demanding Aluthgamage toreveal the names and evidence.
Jayawardana in a tweet said, “Is the elections around the corner? Looks like the circus has started. Names and evidence? #SLpolitics #ICC.”
Sangakkara, the captain of the Sri Lankan Cricket team during the 2011 World Cup final, said that the former minister needs to take his “evidence” to the ICC and the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit so the claims could be investigated thoroughly.
Meanwhile, former Sri Lanka cricketer and former Sri Lankan cricket team Batting Coach Tilan Samaraweera said,“What a shaky statement! Why couldn't the person who was on the highest seat of sports then, get this investigated by the ICC, then?
Recently, batting legend Aravinda de Silva also rejected Aluthgamage’s allegations. However, he urged the Indian Government and its Cricket Board to launch an independent investigation into the allegations.
When cricketers were critical of the allegations, politicians who joined the band wagon demanded an investigation into the claims made by the former minister.
Former UNP MP Hirunika Premachnadra who is contesting the election from the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) condemnedthe statement made by Aluthgamage saying it was an insult to the cricketers.
She suspected the allegations could be part of the SLPP election campaign.
Former MPs of both the United National Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna called for an investigation into the allegations.
JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said Aluthgamage’s allegation was serious and urged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to launch an investigation.
Former MP Namal Rajapaksa also called for the ICC to look into the allegations.
“I implore the International Cricket Council and the Hon. Min of Sports to immediately take action on these accusations & hold an impartial investigation on the matter, based on this alleged evidence,” Rajapaksa tweeted.
The Sports Ministry later this week launched the investigation following Sports Minister Dullas Alahapperuma’s instructionsin line with Section 16 of the "Prevention of Offences Related to Sports" Act which was passed in parliament in 2019.
However, it is said that according to the Section 13 of the Prevention of Offences Relating to Sports Act, a fine and a jail term can be imposed on anyone if they failed to back any claim by making false allegations.