Sri Lanka Cricket ex-chief revives match-fixing charges against Arjuna

ECONOMYNEXT – Former cricket board chief Thilanga Sumathipala has revived allegations of match fixing against Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva accusing them of being the first Sri Lankans to take bribes from bookies.

Sumathipala in an unusual admission blamed himself for not taking action against the World Cup winning captain and his deputy who were implicated by a notorious Mumbai bookmaker known as Mukesh Kumar Gupta, better known as MK Gupta, in the late 1990s.

Gupta who had turned whistle blower told Indian investigators that he paid Aravinda de Silva  15,000 US dollars  to fix a Lucknow Test between India and Sri Lanka in 1994. De Silva has admitted he knew Gupta, but has already denied any wrong doing.

A Sri Lankan investigation by lawyer Desmond Fernando had cleared both Ranatunga and de Silva after Gupta failed to testify before the local inquiry.

Sumathipala, who is a political rival of Ranatunga, said the man who led Sri Lanka to its first and only World Cup victory in 1996 should have been found guilty along with de Silva in early 2000 when the Gupta revelations were made in an Indian CBI (Central Bureau of Investigations) report.

“Arjuna and Aravinda are the first Sri Lankans to be accused of match fixing. They were accused of taking 15,000 US dollars. We had a written report. The entire cricketing community is blaming me for not taking action against them at the time,” Sumathipala said at a public meeting over the weekend.

Ranatunga has always maintained his innocence while blaming Sumathipala for corruption in the sport. (COLOMBO, July 30, 2018)

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