Sports Ministry launches probe into match-fixing allegations | Daily News


Sports Ministry launches probe into match-fixing allegations

Indian team which beat Sri Lanka in the 2011 Cricket World Cup final.
Indian team which beat Sri Lanka in the 2011 Cricket World Cup final.

Sports Minister Dullas Alahapperuma yesterday ordered a comprehensive investigation into the latest match-fixing claims involving the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup final.

This was after former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage sparked a controversy when he alleged that Sri Lanka had ‘fixed’ the 50-over final against India at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Former Sri Lankan Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.

Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Ministry of Sports, K. D. S. Ruwanchandra has filed a complaint with the Special Permanent Investigation Division attached to the Sports Ministry to probe the incident which occurred on April 2, 2011.

Ruwanchandra said that the Sports Minister had called for an impartial and transparent investigation under Section-16 of the “Prevention of Offences Related to Sports” Act passed in 2019.

The Sports Ministry Special Investigation Division is headed by SSP Jagath Fonseka. The 2011 ICC Cricket Tournament final was marked with full of controversy from the start when the toss had to be performed twice.

After India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni spun the coin, it looked as if he thought he had won the toss.

But Match Referee Jeff Crowe did not hear a call from Sri Lanka Captain Kumar Sangakkara who, as the visiting Skipper, was supposed to nominate ‘heads’ or ‘tails’ while the coin was in the air. Commentator Ravi Shastri, the former India all-rounder, who was ‘hosting’ the toss, said the coin had fallen heads the first time.

There were then a few moments of confusion before Crowe said he had not heard the call and so ordered a re-toss - an almost unheard of event in any cricket match.

But later, television replays suggested that Sangakkara had called ‘heads’ even at the first time as well.

However, within the noise generated by a 33,000 capacity crowd, Dhoni misheard it as ‘tails’, which is why he turned to Shastri.

But neither Shastri, who had no official role in determining the outcome of the toss, nor Crowe, had heard Sangakkara’s call. Hence, there was a need for a re-toss. India went on to win their second World Cup title riding on the batting heroics of Gautam Gambhir and Skipper Dhoni.

Batting first, Sri Lanka posted a commanding total of 274 for six wickets in 50 overs with Mahela Jayawardene slamming an unbeaten century.

Chasing the target, half-centuries from Gambhir (97) and Dhoni (91 not out) helped India to get over the line with 10 balls to spare.

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