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Sri Lanka Cricket has asked former captain Hashan Tillakaratne to substantiate his allegations of widespread match-fixing in the country's cricket. The news came soon after Sri Lanka's sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage announced he had asked the inspector-general of police to investigate the claims.
Tillakartane responded by saying he would reveal the names to the ICC. "I stand by my comments about match fixing but can't reveal names for my safety," he said. "I made the statement in good faith and I will reveal the names to the ICC."
Tillakaratne, who played 83 Tests and 200 one-dayers during a 15-year career, had alleged that Sri Lankan players had been involved in match-fixing since 1992, and that he was prepared to name them. His allegations were published last week in Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror newspaper but the comments are believed to have been made soon after the World Cup final on April 2.
"Match-fixing is something which has been in this country over a period of time," Tillakaratne was quoted as saying. "This has spread like a cancer today. There were threats of this issue being exposed at various times. But it was pushed down by giving money to various people. If the people who were responsible for that are listening to this, I state this today with great responsibility, I will shortly reveal the names of those responsible."
Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, senior members of the current Sri Lankan team, responded days later by asking Tillakaratne to provide evidence. Sangakkara, who stepped down from the captaincy after the World Cup, said Tillakaratne should work very closely with the ACSU (Anti-Corruption and Security Unit) of the ICC and the home authorities.
SLC's statement was on similar lines to Sangakkara's reaction, calling on Tillakaratne and Arjuna Ranatunga - another former captain who voiced similar concerns - to substantiate their statements with concrete evidence. "We also wish to state that we find it extremely strange that these so called 'revelations' are being made so many years after the alleged misdeeds," the statement read.
"It is to be noted that there is a system in place, whereby any player or official who feels that there is suspicion of match-fixing has to inform his home board and the ICC ACSU who would commence investigations into the matter immediately. In the interest of SLC and the country, it is imperative that if such statements are made it should be done with substantial evidence and utmost responsibility."