Sri Lanka's ex sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage stood by his allegations that the World Cup 2011 final between India and Sri Lanka was fixed, saying some cricket officials purchased car companies and started new businesses after the team's loss.
Aluthgamage had raised the matter on Thursday, while saying cricketers were not involved. He stressed that the team was changed at the last moment without consultation, although he was the sports minister then.
Sri Lanka had called Suraj Randiv and Chaminda Vaas for the final as standy to Muttiah Muralitharan and Angelo Mathews, who suffered injuries. While Muralitharan played the final, Mathews missed out.
"The team who played the final match was not the team we had selected, finalized and sent off. At the last moment, without the consultation of either me as the then minister of Sports or officials of the Sri Lanka Cricket Control Board, four new players had been included to the team," Aluthgamage told Daily Mirror.
"We saw this only when we watched the match. How could four players get replaced without due approvals and consultations? The new players were inexperienced compared to the rest of the team. Why did they do that out of the blue?"
The former minister also alleged that an Indian newspaper knew about the changes even before the Sri Lankan authorities. He added that he initiated the the bill Prevention of Offences Related to Sports" after that game, making Sri Lanka the first South Asian country to criminalise match-fixing.
"I wrote to the ICC in 2012 regarding this matter, yet they failed to respond," he said.
Mahela Jayawardene, who scored a century in that match, and Kumar Sangakkara, the then captain, had asked Aluthgamage to provide proof of fixing.
"Mahela has said that the circus has started. I don’t understand why Sanga and Mahela are making a big deal about this," Aluthgamage said. "I am not referring to any of our players. Everyone is talking about just two minutes of a half an hour interview I gave to a TV channel. Even Arjuna Ranatunga has openly talked about match fixing issues earlier."
India had won their second World Cup title riding on the heroics of Gautam Gambhir and then skipper MS Dhoni. Batting first, Sri Lanka posted a commanding total of 274/6 in 50 overs with Mahela Jayawardene (103*) slamming an unbeaten ton.
Chasing the target, half-centuries from Gambhir (97) and Dhoni (91*) helped the team get over the line with 10 balls to spare. Virat Kohli (35) and Yuvraj Singh (21*) also chipped in with handy contributions.