In a video posted to his Facebook page, former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga has demanded an inquiry into the 2011 World Cup final played between India and Sri Lanka in Mumbai, alluding to the possibility of the match being thrown away by the Sri Lankan players.
The allegations were made by the 53-year-old amid prior allegations of match fixing, saying that he was shocked by Sri Lanka’s six wicket defeat to India at the Wankhede Stadium. Without naming any players, Ranatunga said, “I was also in India giving commentaries at the time. When we lost, I was distressed and I had a doubt. We must investigate what happened to Sri Lanka at the 2011 World Cup final. I cannot reveal everything now, but one day I will. There must be an inquiry.” Ranatunga also said that the players could not hide the “dirt” with their clean white cricket clothing.
India chased down a total of 274 set by Sri Lanka in the first innings, but the Lankans looked in a commanding position early on after dismissing Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag cheaply in the second innings. Strong performances by Gautam Gambhir, MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh took India over the line eventually.
There have been suspicions in the local media in Sri Lanka off late about the players throwing the match away, but there has been no formal call for an investigation till Ranatunga’s outburst. Adding to the tension is Sri Lanka’s recent 3-2 series defeat against Zimbabwe, with Sri Lankan sports authorities and players also at loggerheads about the use of managers and sports agents, including one particular agent who represents more than half the Sri Lankan team. On the other hand, former captain Kumar Sangakkara, who led Sri Lanka at the 2011 World Cup has publicly defended his manager (a foreign national), who is also the agent for many of the local players.
Sri Lankan players and umpires have been accused of match fixing in the past, but no big name player has ever been convicted of corruption. Although, Sri Lanka’s cricket board sacked a fast bowling coach and a part-time employee for their roles in an approach to two Sri Lankan players to arrange a defeat by West Indies in Galle, in October 2015.