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July 9, 2001
Sri Lanka's special anti corruption investigator Desmond Fernando confirmed today that he has completed his match fixing investigations and will handover his report to the Sri Lankan cricket board tomorrow.
Fernando, appointed on November 6th 2000 by the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL), was asked to investigate allegations made by Indian bookmaker Mukesh Guptha that Arjuna Ranatnga and Aravinda de Silva accepted money to under perform in the 1994 tour of India.
He was initially given one month to complete his report, but this was then extended to allow Fernando to travel to India and UK in search of new evidence and an elusive interview with Mukesh Gupta. Further delays then occurred because of the postponement of meetings with Ranatunga and De Silva.
Finally, eight months later, he has confirmed that the report is finished and that it will be handed to the Interim Committee Chairman, Vijaya Malalsekera, on Tuesday evening.
The report, however, is likely to prove inconclusive. Fernando's failure to meet with Gupta means that the bookmaker's allegations cannot be substantiated, unless Fernando unearthed new evidence during the course of his enquiry.
Ranatunga has firmly denied having ever knowingly meet Gupta and having ever under performed in return for money. De Silva admits to having been approached by bookmakers, but denies having ever been involved in match fixing.
Ranatunga has since retired from international cricket and is expected to enter into politics. De Silva continues to play Test cricket, but was not awarded a player contract this year by the Sri Lankan board.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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