Arjuna to shed more light – next week – Match fixing allegations gain momentum…

Arjuna to shed more light – next week – Match fixing allegations gain momentum…  By  Bipin  Dani

Another former Sri Lanka captain, Arjuna Ranatunga may come forward to substantiate the match-fixing allegations made by his former team mate, Hashan Tillekaratne.

“I am planning to hold the press conference in Sri Lanka next week and will reveal more details on this…”, he said exclusively from Colombo yesterday.

Arjuna was Tillekaratne’s captain when the latter made this sensational revelation (last week) about Lankan players’ involvement in fixing matches since 1992. Interestingly both now sit together in opposition parties and their “common goal” may be understandable. Ranatunga, the World Cup winning captain (1996) also headed the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (2008).

In the meantime, another former Sri Lanka team-mate didn’t rule out the possibility of the 1991 Asia Cup matches being fixed. “I am suspicious about at least the two Asia Cup matches”, he said on condition of anonymity. Look at the results of the India-Sri Lanka match in Cuttack, where Sri Lanka won by 36 runs and the Kolkata final which was won by India”. “How on earth could Sri Lanka have won the Cuttack match before losing in the final ?”, the former player wondered.

“Sri Lankan players had no money then. Only the Indian bookies used to approach them”, he added. When specifically asked, why he did not disclose this for twenty longyears, the ex-player added, “the truth would not have been out (by me) even now had this not been revealed by Tillekaratne.

Three former players, Sanath Jayasuriya, Roshan Mahanama and Asanka Gurusinha were reported to have been approached by an Indian bookie in 1992 during one of the Test matches of the home series between Sri Lanka and Australia. They all turned down the offer and reported the matter to the then former board chief, Tyronne Fernando (who passed away in 2008). There was no Anti-Corruption (and Security) Unit of the ICC then. All these three players were members of the playing eleven in the Asia Cup matches referred above.

Being on ICC’s elite panel of match referees, Roshan Mahanama’s silence is not surprising. Sanath Jayasuriya in Colombo and Asanka Gurusinha in Australia did not respond to the repeated calls by this correspondent.

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