A couple of weeks back, former Sri Lanka Sports Minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage had made a shocking claim that the 2011 World Cup final was fixed.
Aluthgamage questioned the island nation’s four changes to the playing XI for the mega clash against india. He also went on to claim that the Sports Ministry’s approval wasn’t taken to make the last-ditch changes to the squad ahead of the crunch encounter.
Sri Lanka were struggling with injury problems as Angelo Mathews and Muttiah Muralitharan both failed to gain fitness before the huge final. This led to the management hunt for Suraj Randiv and Chaminda Vaas as backlup. The duo flew in to India just for the final. The World Cup’s technical committee had approved Sri Lanka’s request as well.
However, a document in possession with Sunday Times also proves that the Sports Ministry had approved the required changes on March 30, three days ahead of the final. This is in contrary to what Aluthgamage had claimed earlier.
“Last minute, there were two players brought down from Sri Lanka. There was no approval from the Cricket Board or from the Ministry to include those two players in the side,” he had said backing his fixing claim.
However, the document evidence gives a completely different side of story as the letter seems to be clearly addressed to Aluthgamage, who was Sports Minister at that time. It will be interesting to find out what he says after the latest development.
Moreover, this is not the first time that the fixing claims are made about the World Cup 2011 final between India and Sri Lanka. Earlier, Arjuna Ranatunga had also claimed that the game was fixed questioning the four changes Sri Lanka had made for the final. After Aluthgamage’s comments, an ICC official had stated that the world cricket body will investigate the claims and also question him in the matter.
As for the final, Mahela Jayawardene smashed a stunning century to give his team a great chance to lift the trophy. But Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni cancelled out Jayawedene’s brilliant knock and led the Men in Blue over the line to lift their 2nd World Cup trophy.