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Sri Lanka ‘sold’ World Cup final to India, says former sports minister

“I don’t want to divulge too much for the sake of the country … I say the match against India, the one we could have won, we betrayed.”

He added the players we not responsible for the alleged fix, and blamed “certain other sections.” He did not elaborate.

India won by six wickets with 10 balls to spare.

Sri Lanka, led by Mahela Jayawardene’s unbeaten 103, made 274-6 in 50 overs then dismissed the two India openers early. However, the underdogs lost their grip on the game as Gautam Gambir (97) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91 not out) batted on.

After the final, Sri Lankan fans and the media criticised the players, and Sangakkara resigned as captain because he believed he might be too old to be at the 2015 tournament.

Aluthgamage is not the first to allege the final was fixed. Arjuna Ranatunga, the 1996 World Cup-winning skipper, has previously called for an investigation into the defeat.

“When we lost, I was distressed and I had a doubt,” Ranatunga said in 2017. “We must investigate what happened to Sri Lanka at the 2011 World Cup final.

“I cannot reveal everything now, but one day I will. There must be an inquiry.”

Jayawardene on Thursday publicly responded to Aluthgamage’s claims, tweeting: “Is the elections around the corner (sic) Looks like the circus has started (sic) names and evidence? #SLpolitics #ICC”.

Allegations of corruption have plagued Sri Lankan cricket, including claims of match-fixing ahead of a 2018 Test against England.

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Earlier this month, the Sri Lankan cricket board said the International Cricket Council was investigating three unnamed former players over alleged corruption.

Sri Lanka introduced tough penalties for match-fixing and last November tightened sports betting restrictions.

AP

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