'It's disappointing and also a bit amusing' - Kumar Sangakkara opens up on 2011 World Cup match-fixing allegation

‘It’s disappointing and also a bit amusing’ – Kumar Sangakkara opens up on 2011 World Cup match-fixing allegation

In the 2011 World Cup final, India, led by MS Dhoni had defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets at the Wankhede stadium.

Kumar Sangakkara and MS Dhoni
Kumar Sangakkara and MS Dhoni. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

Former Sri Lanka Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, in June, had sparked a raging controversy by claiming that the 2011 World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka was fixed. Aluthgamage was the Sports Minister when the World Cup took place and he said that it was a game the Lankans could have won.

Aluthgamage’s fixing allegations led to a criminal probe being launched by the Sri Lanka police. Kumar Sangakkara, captain of the Sri Lanka team that lost the 2011 World Cup final, and Aravinda de Silva, the chief selector at that time, were also questioned. However, the case was dropped by the police in July citing lack of evidence to back the match-fixing claims.

Sangakkara, in a recent interview, opened up on his questioning and the investigation and called it ‘disappointing’. However, the left-hander admitted that it could be ‘healthy’ for the game.

Game of cricket needs people of integrity: Kumar Sangakkara

“It is disappointing and also a bit amusing at times. And we had that recently when the ex-sports minister did quite a frivolous claim and we had to go in and answer questions,” Sangakkara was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

According to Sangakkara, answering to these claims is ‘healthy’ and may help the game in the long run. The game of cricket needs people of ‘integrity’, said the former Sri Lanka skipper.

“Actually, to go through and answer those questions, and making those statements was really really healthy for the game, whether it was me, the selectors, Mahela or anyone else. I think that process is really important for people to understand what respect for the game means,” Sangakkara further said. “The game of cricket needs people of integrity and people who are not afraid to speak their minds,” he added.

In the 2011 World Cup final, India, led by MS Dhoni had defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets at the Wankhede stadium to lift the coveted trophy after 28 years. Sri Lanka, after electing to bat first, managed 274 runs for the loss of six wickets.

In response, Gautam Gambhir (97) and MS Dhoni (91*) anchored the run-chase and steered India to the triumph. Dhoni smashed Kulasekara over long-on to seal the fate of the game, etching a lifelong moment in the mind of every Indian fan.

“And also when you have any questions to be answered, you don’t need to hide, you can answer any of those. When it comes to politics, when you have politically and morally corrupt individuals, who are affiliated with the sport even in an official capacity, you understand where all this comes from and you don’t have to be afraid to second guess what their motivations are,” Sangakkara further said on the match-fixing investigation.