Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva deny match-fixing charges

first_imgFormer Sri Lanka cricketers Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva on Tuesday denied match-fixing charges labeled against him by former Sri Lanka Cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala.Sumathipala had alleged that 1996 World Cup-winning captain Ranatunga and de Silva had accepted USD 15,000 from an Indian bookie to throw games in 1994.”We have never taken bribes and we have never fixed matches, Ranatunga told reporters in Colombo in the presence of de Silva. Both denied they had ever taken bribes to throw matches.Sumathipala had alleged that Ranatunga and de Silva were the first Sri Lankan players to have been charged of match-fixing. He said he was blamed for hushing up investigations.”If I was someone to fix matches, why did he (Sumathipala) have me in his Cricket Committee?” asked de Silva, who had served the SLC under Sumathipala’s presidency in the past.De Silva said he did not take the allegations seriously. Sumathipala had said de Silva had been paid USD 15,000 by an Indian bookmaker to lose the Lucknow Test of 1994. Sri Lanka lost the match by an innings and 119 runs.”Not 15,000 dollars, but we could have made 15 million dollars if we threw the World Cup,” Ranatunga said, adding they never played for money but were committed to the game and upholding the honour of the country.Sumathipala was reviving a decades-old accusation. In 2001, both Ranatunga and de Silva were cleared of the fixing charges by a committee headed by legal luminary Desmond Fernando.(With PTI inputs)last_img