Off The Field

He has vast experience on the subject matter: Mahela Jayawardene takes dig on banned Sumathipala in 2011 WC final fixing saga

Written by Sumit Seth

Former captain Mahela Jayawardene Sunday took a dig on Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) former president Thilanga Sumathipala, referring to his comment on the ongoing 2011 World Cup final fixing saga.

Commenting on the controversy, Sumathipala had advised former players to not worry over former sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s allegation on match fixing in 2011 World Cup Final.

“If the players are not involved in match fixing – why they are worried about it? If they are not involved in it, that statement will be followed up with the necessary procedure. It is better to be patient without panicking and tweeting about it. If you have not done any wrong you should not wear the hat” he said.

Replying on Sumathipala comment, Mahela tweeted “I am sorry next time we will check with him before reacting and wearing the hats since he has vast experience on the subject matter 👍”.

Sumathipala, who has himself been embarrassingly banned for life from the cricket for ruining the image of the game in the country and is the man who single handedly destroyed Sri Lanka cricket with his manipulation and gang of looters, has also come to the defense of his Podujana Peramuna colleague.

In an explosive revelation, Aluthgamage on Wednesday (June 17) said that 2011 World Cup Final between India and Sri Lanka was fixed. The Former Minister, in an interview with Sri Lanka news channel News 1st, said he makes the claim with absolute responsibility and does not wish to expose further details for the sake of the country.

In October last year, Sumathipala was banned from the cricket by then Sports Minsiter Harin Fernando, based on a report of the International Cricket Council (ICC) that exposed his involvement in betting and gambling. Sumathipala was acting as immediate past President at the SLC at that time.

However, now as the government has changed in the country, Sumathipala, who is also a part of ruling party, is trying to creeping back to cricket through the loopholes. Apart from doing political campaigns in funerals, threatening trade union leader Ashela Sampath and going behind top politicians for his revival these days, Sumathipala is still shamefully trying to be relevant by appearing in Temple Trees meetings and making unnecessary comments in the ongoing saga, even though he himself has destroyed the image of the game, more than anyone else in the history of the Sri Lanka cricket.

How ICC Had Exposed Sumathipala’s betting and gambling connections?

In a report handed over by the ICC to Sports Ministry, they had found incriminating evidence against Sumathipala. The report claims that SLC’s host broadcaster made a payment of US$ 100,000 to a private account operated by the former cricket chief in 1997. It has also emerged that half of this payment was meant to be set aside for then Sports Minister!

The payment had been done by Mark Mascarenhas, who founded Worldtel in 1989. Mascarenhas died of a car accident in Madras in 2002.

Sumathipala wasn’t the President of Board of Control for Cricket in 1997. The Board was headed by Upali Dharmadasa and Sumathipala was one of the Vice-Presidents. However, Sumathipala was the Chairman of Sponsorship Committee at that point.

Glen Palmer, a close confidant of Sumathipala once upon a time has spilled the beans on what had taken place more than 20 years ago. The report further establishes that Sumathipala had direct links with the betting industry and Palmer, who hails from the United Kingdom was helping him to further his interests in the betting industry.

Palmer and Sumathipala had fallen out and the former had come out with incriminating evidence including copies of cheques and telephone conversations.



About the author

Sumit Seth