by Rex Clementine
Hours after Sri Lanka Police announced that they were discontinuing an investigation that the 2011 Cricket World Cup final was fixed, the International Cricket Council issued a statement saying that they had no reason to believe that the final was corrupt or did not feel the need to initiate an inquiry.
Police were instructed to start investigations by the government after former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage claimed that there was foul play in the 2011 final, a close game won by India. Aluthgamage also said that he had asked the ICC in 2011 to investigate the game.
“There is no record of any letter regarding this matter sent by the then Sri Lanka Sports Minister to the ICC,” Head of ICC Anti Corruption Unit Alex Marshall said in a statement.
Although Aluthgamage said a fortnight ago that he would hand over all evidence to Police, who however claimed that there was not enough evidence to go ahead with the inquiry.
Four former captains – Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Aravinda de Silva and Upul Tharanga were summoned before Police and there was outrage with both opposition and government politicians criticizing the harassment.
Aluthgamage has a troublesome past with Sangakkara, who is also the President of Marylebone Cricket Club. In 2011, as Sports Minister he ordered an investigation against Sanga following the former captain’s Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s. Then too, the investigation had to be dropped as there was strong public opinion against it.
Meanwhile, COPE Chairman Sunil Handunhetti went on record saying yesterday that Sangakkara was now free to go on to get elected even for the post of ICC Chairman as he has been cleared by Police. The JVP MP said that former SLC Chairman Thilanga Sumathipala had claimed that Sanga was ineligible for such a position as he was under investigation.