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Sangakkara grilled in 2011 World Cup final fixing probe
Corruption Allegations

Sangakkara grilled in 2011 World Cup final fixing probe

Kumar Sangakkara was subjected to intense interrogation for nearly 10 hours on Thursday by detectives during the ongoing investigation into fixing allegations regarding the 2011 World Cup final.

Sangakkara, who is the incumbent president of the prestigious Marylebone Cricket Club, was called up by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) that is examining the conduct of the team during the fateful final against India.

The 42-year-old was then leading the side as Sri Lanka lost the contest to the home team by six wickets at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.

"I came here to give a statement because of my responsibility to the game and respect for cricket," Sangakkara told reporters following his lengthy questioning.

"I hope at the end of this investigation, the truth about the allegations made by [former sports minister] Mahindananda Aluthgamage will come out."

Sangakkara refused to be drawn into further elaboration on the line of questioning opted by the SIU. The legendary cricketer's then vice-skipper Mahela Jayawardene will be questioned by the police on Friday.

Meanwhile, protests erupted outside the Sports Ministry by a certain section of a political alliance to express opposition to the "continuous harassment of cricket heroes".

Earlier, opening batsman in the World Cup squad, Upul Tharanga, was the first player from the Sri Lankan lineup to be questioned whereas his interrogation was preceded by grilling of ex-chief selector Aravinda de Silva.

Match-fixing allegations sparked by Aluthgamage, who was Sri Lanka's sports minister amidst the 2011 competition, have rocked the cricketing landscape in the country over the past couple of weeks.

Sangakkara has previously suggested approaching the International Cricket Council on this matter in order to organise a more thorough probe.

Sri Lanka's loss to India in the grand finale nine years ago came about despite a strong start from the tourists. They appeared to be in the driving seat in the initial half of the Indian innings when Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag departed for cheap scores.

Eventually, poor fielding and an underwhelming bowling display allowed India to achieve the 275-run target with 10 balls to spare.

Even before Sri Lanka's clash with the hosts began, the game had a controversial coin toss when the pre-match ritual had to be done twice since match referee Jeff Crowe failed to hear Sangakkara's call due to the noise in the stadium.

The Sri Lankan captain's decision to bat first then prompted scathing criticism from local media and pundits, who believed their team were much suited to chasing.