Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Aravinda de Silva and Upul Tharanga have all been summoned to appear before a special investigations unit set up by Sri Lanka’s Sports Ministry, over allegations of match-fixing in the 2011 World Cup final. The allegations were made by Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who was the sports minister at the time, and is seeking re-election in parliamentary polls next month.
Although Aluthgamage has claimed that he is in possession of evidence that fixing occurred, nothing substantial has been made public. The ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) has never stated the final was under suspicion either. A senior ICC official at the time has told ESPNcricinfo that they do not recall having received any complaints about possible corruption in that match. And separately, a senior official from the tournament organising committee has also confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that no complaint related to corruption has been filed regarding that game.
Broadly, Aluthgamage’s allegations appear to be about the four changes Sri Lanka made to their XI for the final. However, Sangakkara (who was captain), Jayawardene (who was vice-captain) and de Silva (who was chief selector) have repeatedly said that those changes were precipitated by injuries to two players – Angelo Mathews and Muttiah Muralitharan – sustained during the semi-final. Muralitharan was able to play the final, but has since said he had not been fully fit. Mathews, meanwhile, was the player who provided balance to the XI, and his exit from the side is said to have changed the batsmen/bowler composition that Sri Lanka had been using for much of the World Cup.
That the sports ministry can summon these players before a special investigations unit is due to the “Prevention of offences related to sports act”, which was passed last year with the aim of curbing fixing. The ICC’s ACU is understood to have worked closely with the Sri Lankan government during the drafting of that bill.
De Silva had given evidence before the investigations unit on Tuesday, while Tharanga had appeared before the unit on Wednesday. Sangakkara and Jayawardene will make their appearances either side of the weekend.