Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga has alleged that the 2011 Cricket World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka was fixed. It came as a shock for the majority of fans that why after six years Ranatunga has made such a drastic claim.Also Read - Harbhajan Singh Recalls When Varun Chakravarthy Troubled MS Dhoni in CSK's Nets
Actually, there is a background to it. And believe it or not, two Sri Lankan greats are at loggerheads with each other, and thus the former captain has demanded an investigation into the 2011 World Cup final. To cut a long story short, it is Arjuna Ranatunga vs Kumar Sangakkara! Also Read - Can See Shades of MS Dhoni in Shikhar Dhawan’s Calm & Composed Captaincy: Kamran Akmal
It all started after Ranatunga took a dig at Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. The 53-year-old said that both Sangakkara and Jayawardene failed to groom youngsters, a culture that was part of Sri Lankan cricket. Also Read- 2011 Cricket World Cup Final Was Fixed, Says Arjuna Ranatunga; Demands Probe Also Read - Sportsmen And Their Alleged Bollywood Affairs: From Yuvraj-Deepika to Hardik-Parineeti | Watch Video
Ranatunga hits at Sangakkara
“In my career, when I reached a stage where I could take up responsibility, people like Duleep (Mendis) and Roy (Dias) dropped down the batting order and gave Aravinda (De Silva) and myself the opportunity to bat higher up the order,” Ranatunga was was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
“That made life much easier for us. Then we did the same when guys like Sanga (Kumar Sangakkara) and Mahela (Jayawardene) came along. But unfortunately that tradition wasn’t followed. Sanga always batted at number three and Mahela always batted at number four,” he added.
Responding to Ranatunga’s claim, Sangakkara defended himself by saying that he has batted down the order as well. “I have batted from the opening position to No. 9 in the Sri Lanka ODI team. In the 2007 World Cup, I batted at No. 4. Then after 2011, when Dinesh Chandimal was doing very well at No. 3, I dropped down to No. 4,” Sangakkara said.
“At the time I was even told by a coach that if the ball was swinging, I should bat up at 3 but if the conditions were favourable to batsmen, we should allow a youngster to move up that position. I am not someone who forced my way into the No 3 position. I had the belief that I could score runs whether I batted at No. 3 or 4 and I have done so too,” he added.
Sanga takes a dig at former captain
However, Sangakkara did not stop there and in a veiled manner hit back at Ranatunga. The left-handed wicketkeeper batsman went on to demand an enquiry as to why Sri Lanka was sent to Pakistan in 2009, during which the visitors were attacked by terrorists resulting in injuries to players and officials, without proper security arrangements in place.
“They didn’t care about our safety during the 2009 tour of Pakistan. They had no guarantee as to what would happen but they decided to send us on this seemingly suicidal journey anyway. They didn’t listen to our security concerns before this tour. It eventually ended with some of our guys being shot and some of them badly injured.
“I still have bruises on my body from those injuries including shrapnel from the shooting. I believe this is the ideal time to investigate if this tour was given the green light considering player safety. I will always have the respect for matters regarding cricket, but I have no time to spend on the other accusations,” he said. Also Check- Relive MS Dhoni’s match-winning six in World Cup final
Ranatunga comes up with allegations of match-fixing
Now Ranatunga has hit back at Sangakkara by demanding an investigation in 2011 World Cup final. “If Mr. Sangakkara wants an inquiry into the tour of Pakistan then they should have one. But I think we should also inquire what happened to the Sri Lanka Team during the 2011 World Cup final. I think this is something that the Sports Minister should look into rather than concentrating on fitness issues.
“I cannot reveal what happened on that day, but I would someday reveal the truth. So, I think we should hold an inquiry into this matter,” he added.
Interestingly, Sri Lanka, under the captaincy of Sangakkara, had made four changes going into the final against India. Thisara Perera, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara and Chamara Kapugedera replaced Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath, Ajanta Mendis and Chamara Silva in the playing XI. India won the match by chasing 275, after losing two quick wickets.
Unfortunately, due to the war of words between these two legendary cricketers, the final of 2011 World Cup has come into the question. Otherwise, no such claim was ever made by Ranatunga earlier.