Previous Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara was interrogated for 10 hours regarding charges of match-fixing in the 2011 World Cup last match. Sangakkara, 42, who led Sri Lanka in 2011 final, was summoned by the police's Special Investigation Unit for questioning, where Sri Lanka lost to India at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.
"After a 10-hour interrogation, Sangakkara told the media that I came here to make a statement because of my respect for cricket and my responsibility for the game, I hope," AFP quoted AFP as saying. Following the conclusion of the investigation, the allegations against former Sports Minister Mahindananda Ulth will come to light. He did not elaborate on what questions were asked of him but said another former captain and finalist, Mahela Jayawardene, had been summoned for questioning on Friday.
Opening batsman Apple Tharanga was the first player to be summoned for questioning in connection with the allegations and was interrogated for more than two hours on Wednesday. Selector Arunda de Silva was interrogated for more than six hours. Mahindananda Ulth Gamage, who held the post of Sri Lanka's sports minister in 2011, had in a statement last month accused him of fixing in the World Cup final.
Sangakkara is currently the current president of the Marylebone Cricket Club in London, but before appearing before the Special Investigation Unit on Thursday, Sangakkara said the former sports minister should contact the International Cricket Council (ICC) over the allegations. "I feel like I can talk about it. I don't link the allegations to the players, but some circles were involved," Alma Gamage told local TV last month.
It may be recalled that Sri Lanka batted first in the World Cup final and scored 274 runs for the loss of 6 wickets thanks to Jayawardene's century and the Indian team was in trouble when the great batsman Sachin Tendulkar returned to the pavilion with only 18 runs. However, thanks to Sri Lanka's poor bowling and fielding, India changed the course of the match and India won the match to become world champions for the second time.
Following the defeat, Sangakkara and Jayawardene resigned. The toss of the match was also controversial as it happened twice. Match referee Jeff Crowe reportedly did not hear Heads from Sangakkara and asked Mahendra Singh Dhoni to toss the coin twice. Sangakkara decided to bat first after winning the toss, which was criticized in the local media because the Sri Lankan team was chasing the target better at the time.
Sri Lankan cricket has been plagued by various corruption and match-fixing scandals over the past decade, including allegations of match-fixing before the 2018 Test against England. It may be recalled that Sri Lanka had declared match-fixing a crime in November last year and a person involved in this crime could be fined Rs 100 million and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.