Sri Lanka order criminal investigation on the 2011 World Cup final loss against India

Sri Lanka lost the final at Wankhede by six wickets on April 2, 2011.

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

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Sri Lanka has called for a thorough investigation into the allegations that the 2011 World Cup final was fixed and sold to India, officials informed on Monday. The secretary to the sports ministry, K.D.S. Ruwanchandra has said that “A criminal investigation has begun.”

The story had started making rounds everywhere after former Sri Lanka Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage made claims recently. The claims made by him were Sri Lanka sold the match to ensure that India wins.

“It is handled by the (police) independent Special Investigation Unit on sports-related offences,” Ruwanchandra said, as reported by Fox Sports. The final of 2011 was Sri Lanka’s second loss in the final after 2007. In 1996, Sri Lanka had won its first and last World Cup.

Aluthgamage, who was the sports minister of Sri Lanka in 2011 said that he knew about this. He said, “I feel I can talk about it now. I am not connecting players, but some sections were involved.”

Former Sri Lanka chief selector Aravinda de Silva summoned by the investigators

The 1996 World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga had also cast his doubt over the result. He had asked for an investigation as well. According to the reports from the local media, former chief selector Aravinda de Silva had been asked to be present for an investigation. De Silva, a former captain of Sri Lanka, was the chief selector for the 2011 World Cup finals when the team made four changes in their side going into the final.

Having started strongly in the final, Sri Lanka ended up losing against India at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The island nation opted to bat first, scoring 274 for 6 from their 50 overs. Mahela Jayawardene hit a magnificent century to take Sri Lanka to the score. In reply, India lost two early wickets and was reeling at 31 for 2, with Sachin Tendulkar back in the hut.

However, some poor fielding and bowling saw India come back into the match with the help of some crucial partnerships. Indian captain MS Dhoni scored an unbeaten 91 and Gautam Gambhir held the innings together with his 97 run-knock. Kumar Sangakkara’s team failed to come back in the game, losing it by six wickets.

International cricket in Sri Lanka has previously been linked to corruption allegations, including claims of match-fixing ahead of a 2018 Test against England. Earlier this month, the Sri Lankan cricket board said the ICC was investigating three unnamed ex-players over corruption claims. Match-fixing was made a criminal offense in November. Offenders face fines of up to 100 million rupees ($555,000) and up to 10 years’ jail.