Arjuna Ranatunga demands an investigation into the 2011 ICC World Cup Final

Arjuna Ranatunga demands an investigation into the 2011 ICC World Cup Final

Sangakkara also questioned the fact that why the team was sent to Pakistan in 2009 without ensuring proper security for the players and stuff.

Arjuna Ranatunga
Arjuna Ranatunga. (Photo by ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Arjuna Ranatunga took his battle of words against Kumar Sangakkara to a different level altogether when he suggested carrying an investigation process on the 2011 ICC World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka. According to Ranatunga, Sangakkara and his men put up a below average performance in the match which was nowhere close to their potential.

Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath, Ajanta Mendis and Chamara Silva were left out of the line-up for that match which paved the way for Thisara Perera, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara and Chamara Kapugedera. Mahela Jayawardene, who is often regarded as the epitome of calmness, rode the Sri Lankan team to a total of 274 in their 50 overs by scoring a dazzling century. The Sri Lankans were right on the money with the ball at the opening stages but some valiant display with the bat from Gautam Gambhir and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni sealed the match in favour of the Indians. Sri Lanka lost to India by 6 wickets.

“Investigations should be done on the World Cup final where Sri Lanka lost to India,” Ranatunga said on Thursday (July 13). “The ministers who are talking now need to make sure their actions speak louder than their words. The time has come now for these players to confess on what happened and investigations to be done.

“I was also in India at the time and I was heartbroken after the loss while I also had doubts about it. I will open up about all this very soon with proof. Therefore if you are investigating, this is what you need to investigate about.” added the former skipper.

Ranatunga;s blame:

The verbal argument between the two highly respected cricketers got the spark when Ranatunga blamed Sangakkara and Jayawardene for not shaping up the young stars for the future. According to the veteran, the national team is now facing the consequences after the retirement of the two. Ranatunga also pointed out the same reason behind the shameful defeat of Angelo Mathews and his men against Zimbabwe.

“In my career, when I reached a stage where I could take up responsibility, people like Duleep (Mendis) and Roy (Dias) dropped down the batting order and gave Aravinda (De Silva) and myself the opportunity to bat higher up the order,” Ranatunga had told Cricbuzz.

“That made life much easier for us. Then we did the same when guys like Sanga (Kumar Sangakkara) and Mahela (Jayawardene) came along. But unfortunately that tradition wasn’t followed. Sanga always batted at number three and Mahela always batted at number four.”

Sangakkara’s reply:

The criticism did not go down well with the left-handed genius and he justified himself by saying “I have batted from the opening position to No. 9 in the Sri Lanka ODI team,” Sangakkara said. “In the 2007 World Cup, I batted at No. 4. Then after 2011, when Dinesh Chandimal was doing very well at No. 3, I dropped down to No. 4.

“At the time I was even told by a coach that if the ball was swinging, I should bat up at 3 but if the conditions were favourable to batsmen, we should allow a youngster to move up that position,” he added. “I am not someone who forced my way into the No 3 position. I had the belief that I could score runs whether I batted at No. 3 or 4 and I have done so too.”

Sangakkara also questioned the fact that why the team was sent to Pakistan in 2009 without ensuring proper security for the players and stuff. The team bus was attacked by terrorists in Lahore where players and official fell victim to injuries and six security personnel were killed.

“They didn’t care about our safety during the 2009 tour of Pakistan,” Sangakkara blamed the SLC administration. “They had no guarantee as to what would happen but they decided to send us on this seemingly suicidal journey anyway. They didn’t listen to our security concerns before this tour. It eventually ended with some of our guys being shot and some of them badly injured.

“I still have bruises on my body from those injuries including shrapnel from the shooting. I believe this is the ideal time to investigate if this tour was given the green light considering player safety. I will always have the respect for matters regarding cricket, but I have no time to spend on the other accusations.”

Sangakkara’s statements were hinted to be thrown towards Arjuna Ranatunga. But Ranatunga made it clear that he was not in charge of the security during the bilateral series against Pakistan in 2009.

“If Sangakkara wants an investigation, it should be done. Liyanagamage was the man in charge during that time.

“I was the Chairman of the Asian Cricket Council a few months before that and we had a successful Asia Cup campaign in Pakistan in July 2008. I was sacked towards the end of the year 2008 by the Sports Minister back then, Gamini Lokuge. I was not in charge when the 2009 Pakistan tour went ahead and I don’t mind having an investigation on that.

“But don’t forget that this same lot of players toured Pakistan for the Asia Cup a few months before the shooting happened while I was in charge,” he further added. “I sent people for security checks while I was in charge. Have they ever complained about bombings around India? They just complain if it’s a national tour but if it’s the IPL, they go ahead anyway.”