sports world cup

File photo of Sri Lanka's sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage addressing a press conference in Colombo on April 11, 2011. (Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP via Getty Images)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — A former Sri Lanka sports minister claims the national team deliberately lost the 2011 Cricket World Cup final to India for money.

Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who was the sports minister during that World Cup which was staged in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, said in an interview with Sirasa TV June 18 that Sri Lanka “sold” the final played in Mumbai, India.

He offered no proof.

“I tell you today that we (Sri Lanka team) sold the 2011 Word Cup. I tell this with responsibility,” Aluthgamage said.

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

Kumar Sangakkara, the then-captain of Sri Lanka, said the “serious” allegations warrant an investigation by the International Cricket Council.

“It’s a very serious allegation,” Sangakkara told the Associated Press. “Since he says he has evidence and proof, the prudent thing to do is to go to the Anti-Corruption Unit of the ICC and put forth his claims so they can investigate them thoroughly and come to a conclusion whether what the former minister says is true or not.”

India won the final 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 criticized the players, and Sangakkara resigned as the limited-overs captain because he believed he might be too old to be at the 2015 tournament.

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