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AFP
July 4, 2020

Sri Lanka drops World Cup fixing probe for lack of evidence

Sports

AFP
July 4, 2020

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan police on Friday dropped a criminal investigation into the 2011 cricket World Cup final, saying they found no evidence of match-fixing by players to let their Indian opponents win.

The world governing body of the sport, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said it had also looked into the recent allegations and found no reason to doubt the integrity of the 2011 final, won by India.

Former chief selector Aravinda de Silva, and the team’s skipper Kumar Sangakkara and opening batsman Upul Tharanga were questioned this week over suspicions that have dogged the match for years.

“We are satisfied with their explanation,” a top police official told AFP. “The inquiry is now closed.”

Sri Lanka’s four changes to the team just before the finals at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium were raised as suspicious by a Sri Lankan minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage last month. He was the minister of sports in 2011.

The officer said police had spoken to the players and the chief selector.

“They had reasonable explanations about the changes that were made to the final squad,” the officer said. “We found no evidence of any wrongdoing.”

However, the ICC said it was willing to review its findings if presented with credible evidence.

“We take all allegations of this nature extremely seriously and should we receive any evidence to corroborate the claims, we will review our current position,” ICC anti-corruption chief Alex Marshall said in a statement.

“If anyone has any evidence that this match or any other has been subject to match-fixing, we would urge them to get in contact with the ICC Integrity team.”

The sudden decision to end the Sri Lankan police investigators came after the 2011 team’s vice captain Mahela Jayawardena went to the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) office to give a statement.

“We will give our maximum cooperation,” Jayawardena told reporters before leaving the SIU when officers refused to accept his testimony and told him to return later.