(former Honorary Secretary BCCSL and Manager of several Sri Lanka Cricket teams)
The outburst of Mahindananda Aluthgamage, about alleged match fixing in the 2011 Cricket World Cup final, has received wide publicity in the sporting world, so much so that an article has appeared in a newspaper of a relatively unknown cricket playing country, Kenya. An extract of a news item that appeared in one of the Kenyan newspapers, reads as follows: “Headline – Sangakkara grilled in World Cup probe” – “Sri lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara was questioned for nearly 10 hours by detectives probing explosive allegations that the 2011 World Cup Final was fixed under his captaincy. Sangakkara, 42, was called into the Police Special Investigating Unit examining the conduct of the Final, which Sri Lanka lost to India in Mumbai.”
“I came here to give a statement because of my responsibility to the game and respect for cricket,” Sangakkara said after his questioning by the detectives. “I hope that at the end of this investigation the truth about the allegations, made by former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, will come out”.
The damage, this shameless politician has done, particularly to three highly respected cricketers in Aravinda, Mahela and Sanga, and to the rest of the team members, is irretrievable. As a former Honorary Secretary of the Board of Control For Cricket (BCCSL) and Manager of several Sri Lankan Cricket teams, I can personally vouch for the integrity of the leading cricketers who took part in the match in question. I was Manager of several cricket teams where Aravinda, Mahela and Sanga took part. These three cricketers were probably among the best five batsmen produced by Sri Lanka, and their integrity and the knowledge of the game is of the highest order. This politician has probably never handled a bat in his life, and must understand that match fixing cannot be done without any contribution of the players. The two cricketers, who had to be replaced, were Muralitharan and Angelo Mathews, two of the outstanding cricketers in the side, and I am sure Aravinda who was Chairman of the Selectors, would have consulted Captain Sangakkara and sent the best available replacements.
The fact that the investigating team summarily called off the investigation, even without calling for Mahela’s questioning, shows the credibility of this politician. The President must request this politician to apologise to at least the three senior cricketers, Aravinda de Silva, Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara, in his presence, so that the cricketing public, around the world, will learn the true picture.