Written by Staff Writer
04 Jul, 2020 | 9:37 pm
COLOMBO (News1st): A former national cricket captain has urged former sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage to disclose evidence over his match fixing claims, that stirred controversy in the cricket loving nation.
“He said that the players were not involved. However, it was the players who were first summoned for the investigation,” Arjuna Ranatunga, who led the Sri Lankan team to its first world cup victory in 1996 said.
Aluthgamage, during the Newsline programme hosted by News 1st, claimed that the 2011 cricket world cup finals between Sri Lanka and India had been fixed.
A special police investigation unit that probed the claims recorded statements from former national players including Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene before wrapping up the probe on Thursday, citing lack of evidence.
“…this must be investigated by the International Cricket Council (ICC). I have given them information regarding this,” Aluthgamage told reporters after the investigation had concluded.
However, Alex Marshall, the general manager of the ICC’s Anti Corruption Unit denied that the former minister had submitted a complaint to the global cricketing authority to this effect.
Opposition politicians accused the government of stirring up controversy, citing it as a move to obstruct Sangakkara who is vying for the post of ICC Chairman.
“He shamed the country in the face of the world to prevent Sangakkara from being appointed to a top position,” Ajith P. Perera, a Samagi Jana Balawegaya member told reporters.
Sajin Vass Gunawardena, a former parliamentarian, said he accompanied the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa to spectate the match in Mumbai, but denied observing an incident of match-fixing.
“As a result of the massive controversy that stemmed out of this, the government might have instructed to sweep the matter under the carpet,” Gunawardena said on Saturday.
Nagananda Kodituwakku, an independent parliamentary election candidate, said the move to obstruct Sangakkara from clinching the ICC’s top post was similar to the situation experienced by former UN Deputy Secretary General Jayantha Dhanapala.
“When he was nominated to the post of UN Secretary-General, they prevented him and did not give him that chance,” Kodituwakku recalled.
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