Match-fixing allegations have returned to haunt Sri Lankan cricket. On Friday, former captain Hashan Tillakaratne was quoted as saying that matches involving the national team have been fixed since 1992.
Tillakaratne said he would soon come out with the names of players involved. The development comes months after Lankan cricket was rocked by spot-fixing allegations involving at least two players during the T20 World Cup.
Why was team changed in WC final?
Tillakaratne also raised questions on the World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka on April 2. “I am not saying this match was fixed, but why were four players changed for it? Those are questions that should be asked. Arjuna (Ranatunga) spoke about this, we were playing an entirely different side.
“Why was (Ajantha) Mendis removed or (Chamara) Kapugedera, who was never among runs, chosen to replace Chamara Silva,” said Tillakaratne, who represented Sri Lanka in 83 Tests and 200 ODIs was quoted by the Daily Mirror.
According to the newspaper, Tillakaratne, who is an office-bearer of the main opposition party, United National Party (UNP), had said this during a talk show. Sports minister, M Aluthgamage, was reported to have denied the allegations on an Indian TV channel, saying Tillekaratne needed to prove his allegations.
A SLC official, requesting anonymity, dismissed the “baseless” allegations. “If a former Sri Lanka captain, who is a member of the opposition party, is making such an allegation, then what is stopping him from coming out with names,” he said.
“People can say what they want to,” said Mahela Jayawardene. “An allegation needs to be proven. So, until that’s happening, I wouldn't to say anything,” he said. The BCCI refused to comment on Tillakaratne's remarks.
with inputs from Amol Karhadkar and Debjeet Kundu