Hashan Tillakaratne, a former Sri Lankan captain has claimed that as far as his knowledge is concerned match fixing has been a common occurrence in the island nation since 1992. Tillakaratne said, “I can tell this in agreement with my conscience. Match fixing is not something that started happening yesterday or today. According to my knowledge, it happened since 1992. I say this with great responsibility.”He claims that although many people in the administration in the past have known about this, the issue has always been shed away with money power. As he puts it, “There were threats of this issue being exposed during various times. But it was pushed down by giving money to various people.”
Tillakaratne also promises that in near future he shall be disclosing names of the people involved in this cancer which haunts cricket, as well as warned those who were involved in it of the same.
On being questioned by the TV channel , where Tillakaratne was being interviewed ,whether the India – Sri Lanka World Cup finals were also fixed , the former cricketer said that he was not aware of whether the match was fixed but that he has some serious questions that needed to be answered.
Tillakaratne questioned the four changes made in the World Cup final which ought not to have been made. He says, “Why was Mendis removed to put another spinner, Kapugedara was never among runs but he was chosen to replace Chamara Silva. It is not fair, is it?”
His doubts were just not limited to the selections made in the finale but also to the timing of the selection of the Sri Lankan side for the World Cup.
Sri Lanka had announced their squad on the 7th of January, a day prior to the IPL bidding. “ I questioned at a TV show why this team was picked on the day before the IPL auction. The IPL auction was on the (January) 8th. Then it was said that we have time when we pick the team before the IPL auction and it was said that we have enough time as there were ten more days. Those were the excuses given,” he said.
The second reason he gives for the mistiming of the selection is that between 11th to 13th of January were the knock off rounds of the provincial tournament in Sri Lanka Tillakaratne suggests,“ we could have watched those tournaments and picked the team two or three days later. If that happened, I believe another two or three players could have replaced some of the players. I had my doubts whether it was the best team that was picked.”
Finally, Hashan says that, “If someone doesn’t intervene and stop this menace, within another two-three years in this country, with these politics, with these corrupt administrators, I believe this country won’t be second to Pakistan in the near future.”