Former Sri Lanka cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara, after recording a statement yesterday (2) over the match-fixing allegations, said the truth would be revealed once the investigations are complete.
Sangakkara provided a nine-hour long statement to the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) of the Ministry of Sports, over match-fixing allegations made by former minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage last month.
“I came forward to give this statement, especially because of the responsibility we have and the respect we have for cricket. Also because the right actions must be taken. Once this investigation is over, everyone will get to know about the veracity of Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s statement,” Sangakkara told the media, last evening.
The former skipper arrived at the Sports Ministry at 9 AM yesterday, after he was summoned on Wednesday (1). Sangakkara was captain of the Sri Lanka cricket team during the 2011 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Mahela Jayawardena who was vice-captain at the time, was also summoned before the SIU today (3) but later given another date.
Jayawardene arrived this morning despite being informed not to, and in a separate statement, explained his reasons for coming, reiterating his wish to see the truth revealed.
The allegations of match-fixing at the 2011 World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka, caused controversy in the country, resulting in a formal investigation by the SIU.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa referred to the scandal as “politically unimportant”, saying, “If we allow ourselves to be distracted and forget the broader picture even for a moment, the consequences could be disastrous.”
Meanwhile, head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Anti Corruption Unit, Ajit Singh said yesterday, “I am surprised the issue has come up after 10 years. As per my experience, the more delayed the investigation, the more difficult it is to get the evidence.”
Earlier this week, former Sri Lanka Cricket Selection Committee Chairperson—and 1996 World Cup winning vice-captain—Aravinda de Silva and cricketer Upul Tharanga gave statements to the investigators.
Last month (June 24), a statement was recorded from former Minister Aluthgamage.
SSP W. A. J. H. Fonseka, Director of the SIU, speaking to the media yesterday, noted that once the inquiry is completed, the recommendations and findings will be referred to the Attorney General, who will decide whether to proceed further.
Former parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, expressed his concerns over summoning cricketers to provide statements, without any preliminary investigation conducted by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“The ICC must investigate this. I have no faith in summoning cricketers to the CID over this matter because the initial investigation has to be conducted by the ICC and its anti-corruption body. Based on those results, we should take action. Summoning cricketers to the CID will only bring an unnecessary disgrace to the country,” he said.
Former parliamentarian Bimal Ratnayake also tweeted, questioning how fair it was to subject the cricketers to such treatment. ‘Kumar Sangakkara ‘Summoned’ to [the] Special Investigations Unit of the Sports Ministry. Special Investigations Unit of the sports ministry ‘Summoned’ to Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s office in Nawalapitiya. Where is the ‘Fair Play’?’, he asked.
Members of the Samagi Tharuna Balawegaya also staged a protest outside Sri Lanka Cricket, against the harassment of Sangakkara and the 2011 cricket team yesterday.
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