“I wrote to the ICC in 2012 regarding this matter, yet they failed to respond”
“Some Cricket officials have purchased car companies, started new businesses after match loss”
“The Team changed in the last moment without prior consultation”
“An Indian newspaper knew about the team change before us, but how?”
“This match made me initiate anti-fixing bill”
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said he had already complained to the International Cricket Council (ICC) regarding the alleged match fixing incident in 2011 and demanded an investigation to be carried out to find out ‘how certain cricket officials’ allegedly purchased car companies and started new businesses within a year of losing the the match.
He reiterated that he did not refer to any players, but officials in the cricket industry.
Enumerating his allegation over the 2011 Cricket World Cup fixing, Aluthgamage said he had written to the ICC in 2012 regarding the alleged fixing of matches and three other important issues, he had noticed in Sri Lankan Cricket during his tenure.
He said this was the third time him was speaking on this particular matter and there was nothing new or different to what he had said earlier.
He claimed that until the cricket match was played with New Zealand, the Sri Lankan team was playing well and that the final with India was a match the Sri Lankan team were to tipped to win.
“The team who played the final match was not the team we had selected, finalized and sent off. At the last moment, without the consultation of either me as the then minister of Sports or officials of the Sri Lanka Cricket Control Board, four new players had been included to the team. We saw this only when we watched the match. How could four players get replaced without due approvals and consultations? The new players were inexperienced compared to the rest of the team. Why did they do that out of the blue?” Aluthgamage questioned.
Despite the Sri Lankan officials being unaware of the change of the team members, an Indian newspaper had carried an article regarding the change of the team a day before the final match, he alleged. Then, he raised another question as to how Indian media knew about something so important that the Sri Lankan Sports Minister and Cricket Control Board had no idea of.
He claimed that he is still in possession of the said letter, but cannot publish it. However, he said the ICC had not responded to his letter.
Aluthgamage said it was the 2011 Cricket WC Final match which made him initiate the bill "Prevention of Offences Related to Sports" which made Sri Lanka the first South Asian nation to criminalise several offences related to match-fixing.
“Mahela has said that the circus has started. I don’t understand why Sanga and Mahela are making a big deal about this. I am not referring to any of our players. Everyone is talking about just two minutes of a half an hour interview I gave to a TV channel. Even Arjuna Ranatunga has openly talked about match fixing issues earlier,” Aluthgamage further said. (Piyumi Fonseka)