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Sri Lanka drops World Cup cricket fixing probe for lack of evidence

The islanders made four changes to the team for the final that lost to India

PHOTO: AFP

Sri Lankan police on Friday dropped a match-fixing investigation into the 2011 World Cup final, saying they found no evidence of Sri Lankan players letting their Indian opponents win.

Former chief selector Aravinda de Silva, ex-skipper Kumar Sangakkara and opening batsman Upul Tharanga were questioned this week over suspicions that have dogged the match for years.

"We are satisfied with their explanation," a top police official told AFP. "The inquiry is now closed."

"They had reasonable explanations about the changes that were made to the final squad," the officer added. "We found no evidence of any wrongdoing."

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Sri Lanka made four changes to the team for the final that lost to India at Mumbai's Wankhede stadium.

The sudden decision to end the investigation came after the 2011 team's vice-captain Mahela Jayawardena arrived at the office of the Special Investigation Unit to give a statement.

"We will give our maximum cooperation," Jayawardena told reporters before leaving the SIU when officers refused to accept his testimony.

Jayawardena was called in after Sangakkara was grilled for nearly 10 hours by a team of detectives on Thursday.

The investigation was triggered after Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who was sports minister in 2011, alleged that the finals was thrown by Sri Lanka to ensure an Indian victory.

Sangakkara, who is also president of England's prestigious Marylebone Cricket Club, had asked Aluthgamage to refer his allegations to the International Cricket Council.