Sri Lanka orders probe into match-fixing allegations
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s sports minister on Monday ordered a police inquiry into match-fixing allegations levelled by former international captain Hashan Tillakaratne.
Tillakaratne, who played 83 Tests and 200 one-dayers during a 15-year career, said last week that Sri Lankan players had been involved in match-fixing since 1992 adding that he was prepared to name some of them.
“I have asked the inspector-general of police to investigate these claims and give a report to me,” Mahindananda Aluthgamage told reporters after meeting cricket administrators Monday.
Tillakaratne, who skippered Sri Lanka between April 2003 and March 2004, stopped short of suggesting the 2011 World Cup final was rigged, although he expressed reservations about the team selection.
Sri Lanka lost to India in last month’s final.
“Match fixing is something which has been in this country over a period of time. This has spread like a cancer today,” Tillakaratne was quoted as saying by Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror newspaper on Friday.
“There were threats of this issue being exposed at various times. But it was pushed down by giving money to various people.
“If the people who were responsible for that are listening to this, I state this today with great responsibility, I will shortly reveal the names of those responsible,” he said.
However on Sunday, Sri Lanka’s World Cup captain Kumar Sangakkara challenged Tillakaratne to prove his allegations.
“Hashan has played the game for years and he’s captained Sri Lanka as well. So it’s interesting to see what he has to say and if he has anything more than allegations,” Sangakkara said in India.
Sangakkara, captain of the Deccan Chargers franchise in the Indian Premier League, said Tillakaratne should work with the International Cricket Council (ICC) if there was any basis for his allegations.
“It’s dangerous to throw names around,” said Sangakkara, who quit as captain after Sri Lanka’s defeat to India in the World Cup final.
“He should work very closely with the ACSU (Anti-corruption and Security Unit) of the ICC and the home authorities to ensure that something’s done about it if there is any foundation to those claims.”
Tillakaratne’s comments came as the sport tries to draw a line under last year’s spot-fixing scandal involving some of Pakistan’s leading players.