Almost a decade after the final, the then Sri Lankan sports minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage has made huge match-fixing allegations saying that ‘Sri Lanka sold the World Cup final’.
'Dhoni finishes off in style!'
As Ravi Shastri screamed that with jubilation from the commentary box, the whole Indian nation broke into ecstasy as they won the 2011 World Cup at their own den, beating Sri Lanka by six wickets.
But almost a decade later, the then Sri Lankan sports minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage has claimed that the whole match was fixed saying 'Sri Lanka sold the World Cup final'.
Surprisingly, he is not the first one to speak of such allegations. World Cup-winning Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga, who was present at Wankhede as a commentator, echoed the same words in 2017.
Aluthgamage, who was Sri Lanka's sports minister from 2010 to 2015, told to Sirasa TV, "I tell you today that we sold the 2011 World Cup finals. Even when I was sports minister I believed this."
Saying that he did not want to disclose the plot back then, Aluthgamage added, "In 2011, we were to win, but we sold the match. I feel I can talk about it now. I am not connecting players, but some sections were involved."
Ranatunga had also called for an investigation back in 2017. He said, "When we lost, I was distressed and I had a doubt. 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."
Despite all these, the Indian players have denied any sort of wrongdoing.
In the final, Kumar Sangakkara-led Sri Lanka posted a challenging total of 274-6 against India and dismissed Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar to get into the driving seat early in the second innings.
But India turned things around, courtesy of some poor bowling and fielding from the Sri Lankans. Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni cashed in from there and Dhoni with a six that India had won their second World Cup trophy.
Sri Lankan Cricket have often faced match-fixing allegations with the latest coming before a Test match against England in 2018. Also, the Sri Lankan Cricket Board disclosed earlier this month that ICC was investigating three unnamed former players over corruption allegations.
In 2018, former seamer Dilhara Lokuhettige was suspended for corruption in a limited-overs league. He was the third Sri Lankan to be charged under the ICC anti-corruption code, following former captain and chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya and another former seamer Nuwan Zoysa. The former was banned for two years for not co-operating with a match-fixing investigation whereas Zoysa was suspended for match-fixing.