Colombo, April 29: The spectre of alleged match-fixing has been lingering across the Sri Lankan landscape for the last decades, and recently could have made a return in the World Cup as well, according to former Sri Lankan captain Hashan Tillakaratne.
Tillakaratne was especially suspicious about the extensive changes in the team for the final. "Why were four players changed for this match? Those are questions that should be asked. Arjuna (Ranatunga) spoke about this, we who have played cricket talk about this. We were playing an entirely different side"
Tillakaratne added that match-fixing was endemic in Lankan cricket and had been a latent scourge since a while."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"
"There were threats of this issue being exposed during various times. But it was pushed down by giving money to various people. If the people who were responsible for that are listening to this, I state this today with great responsibility, I will shortly reveal the names of those responsible"
"This situation was always there. When it came out from time to time, it was quietly swept under the carpet. If someone doesnt intervene and stop this menace, within another two-three years in this country, with these politics, with these corrupt administrators, I believe this country wont be second to Pakistan in the near future", added the cricketer turned politician.
"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?" he questioned.
“Someone needs to stop this menace, there is a network, no one can go out of it," Tillakaratne told reporters.
He further stated that money was being paid to many players for being silent.
Tillakaratne was the Sri Lankan Test captain for duration of ten matches between 2003 and 2004.