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Arjuna Ranatunga: 2011 World Cup final was fixed, demands probe

Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga demands probe into the Sri Lanka’s defeat against India in title clash at Wankhede Stadium; promises to reveal more later

Arjuna Ranatunga
Arjuna Ranatunga

Former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga yesterday demanded an investigation into the country’s 2011 World Cup final defeat by India amid allegations of match fixing.

Ranatunga, 53, in a video posted on his Facebook page, said he was shocked by Sri Lanka’s six-wicket defeat in the final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

“I was also in India giving commentaries at the time. When we lost, I was distressed and I had a doubt,” Ranatunga said. “We must investigate what happened to Sri Lanka at the 2011 World Cup final. I cannot reveal everything now, but one day I will. There must be an inquiry.”

India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrates the dismissal of Sri Lanka's captain Kumar Sangakkara during the 2011 World Cup final at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 2, 2011. Pic/Getty Images
India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrates the dismissal of Sri Lanka’s captain Kumar Sangakkara during the 2011 World Cup final at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 2, 2011. Pic/Getty Images

Without giving names, Ranatunga said players could not hide the “dirt” with their clean white cricket clothing.

Sri Lanka, batting first, scored 274-6 off 50 overs and appeared in a commanding position .

India turned the game dramatically thanks partly to poor fielding and bowling by Sri Lanka.

Local media have raised suspicions of Sri Lankans throwing the match, but there was no formal call for an investigation till Ranatunga’s outburst.

Ranatunga’s spokesman Thamira Manju said that he was writing to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe complaining about the state of cricket in the country. There have been recriminations since Sri Lanka suffered a 3-2 loss to Zimbabwe in a five-match ODI series on home soil this month.

There is also growing tension between Sri Lankan sports authorities and players about the use of managers, including an agent who represents more than half the national team. Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said he wants to regulate agents in a bid to prevent the possibility of one individual fixing matches.

India’s 2011 heroes rubbish Arjuna’s claims
India’s World Cup heroes found Arjuna Ranatunga’s demand for an inquiry into the 2011 final as “outrageous”. Gautam Gambhir feels that Ranatunga should back his allegations with evidence.

“I am surprised by Ranatunga’s allegations. These are serious comments by a very respectable voice in international cricket. I think to clear the air, he should back his claims with proofs,” Gambhir said.

Ashish Nehra said: “I don’t wish to dignify Ranatunga’s comments by airing my views on the issue. There is no end to these kind of statements. If I question Sri Lanka’s 1996 WC victory, is it in good taste? So let’s not get into it. But yes, it is disappointing when someone of his stature says something like this,” Nehra said.

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