After declaring Sri Lanka sold 2011 World Cup final to India, Lankan minister says it's his suspicion

News Network
June 25, 2020

Jun 25: After asserting that the 2011 World Cup final was "sold" by "certain parties" in Sri Lanka to India, the island nation's former sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has now called his claim a "suspicion" that he wants investigated.

The Lankan government has ordered an enquiry into the matter and a special Police investigation unit recorded Aluthgamage's statement on Wednesday. He told the team that he was only suspicious of fixing.

"I want my suspicion investigated," Aluthgamage told reporters.

"I gave to the Police, a copy of the complaint I lodged with the International Cricket Council (ICC) on 30 October 2011 regarding the said allegation as then Sports Minister," he said.

Aluthgamage has alleged that his country "sold" the game to India, a claim that was ridiculed by former captains Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene who demanded evidence from him.

Set a target of 275, India clinched the trophy thanks to the brilliance of Gautam Gambhir (97) and then skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91).

"Today I am telling you that we sold the 2011 world cup, I said this when I was the sports minister," Aluthgamage, who was the sports minister at the time, had stated.

Sangakkara, the captain of Sri Lanka at that time, asked him to produce evidence for an anti-corruption probe.

"He needs to take his 'evidence' to the ICC and the Anti corruption and Security Unit so the claims can be investigated thoroughly," he tweeted.

Jayawardene, also a former captain who scored a hundred in that game, ridiculed the charge.

"Is the elections around the corner...like the circus has started...names and evidence?" he asked in a tweet.

Aluthgamage said that in his opinion no players were involved in fixing the result, "but certain parties were."

Both Aluthgamage and the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa were among the invitees at the final played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Following his allegations, Aravinda de Silva, the former great who was the then chairman of selectors, has urged the BCCI to conduct its own investigation.

De Silva has said he is willing to travel to India to take part in such an investigation despite the current COVID-19 threat.

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News Network
September 22,2021

There's a possibility that Virat Kohli could be removed as the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) mid-way through the ongoing UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL), a former India cricketer has said.

RCB were bundled out for just 92 by KKR in their first match of the Phase-2. It was RCB's sixth-lowest total in IPL, as they lost to the Eoin Morgan-led KKR by nine wickets.

After opting to bat, Kohli (5 runs off 4 balls) fell prey to pacer Prasidh Krishna in just the second over of the match. The 32-year-old batsman was trapped plum in front and a bad review call didn't help his case either.

His call further attracted the ire of the experts, including former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who had questioned the timing of his decision. He reckoned if Kohli had to do something like that, he could have done it after the IPL.

Some cricketers even suggested that the team looked "unsettled" by the untimely announcement. One former India cricketer, on condition of anonymity, told IANS that it seems that Kohli might be removed "mid-way".

"Look at the way he was playing against Kolkata Knight Riders. Just clueless! It seems he is struggling big time right now. There are chances that he could be removed mid-way through the season. It has happened earlier also with other teams -- like with Dinesh Karthik in KKR and David Warner in Sunrisers Hyderabad, among others. They were either removed or they stepped down mid-way. So it can happen in RCB as well... I have this feeling after watching yesterday's match. One more bad game and you can see a change in RCB captaincy right away," said the former cricketer.

Virat was appointed the skipper of RCB ahead of the 2013 IPL season as a successor to outgoing captain Daniel Vettori. Since then, the side has won 62 of the 132 matches under him, to go with 66 losses and 4 no-results.

So, who could replace Kohli?

Senior player AB de Villiers will probably be one to replace Virat. He is greatly respected within the team. But there are also chances that he might not accept the offer.

Yuzvendra Chahal's name is also doing the rounds on the basis of seniority in the team. Chahal has also been the leading wicket-taker for RCB in the IPL, clinching 125 wickets in 106 games that he has played for the franchise so far.

Youngster Devdutt Padikkal's name has made the rounds as well, following the trend seen in recent times of appointing young captains such as Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson. The Karnataka batsman has been the leading run-scorer for RCB in the last couple of seasons and is considered one of the favourites of Kohli.

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News Network
September 23,2021

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News Network
September 9,2021

Kabul, Sept 9: Cricket Australia said Thursday it would have "no alternative" but to cancel hosting a historic Test match against Afghanistan unless the Taliban backtracks on a reported ban on women playing sport.

The governing body said the first ever men's Test between the two nations was under serious threat after the deputy head of the Taliban's cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, reportedly said women would not play cricket or any other sport under the new regime.

"I don't think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket," Wasiq told Australian broadcaster SBS on Wednesday.

"In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered. Islam does not allow women to be seen like this.

"It is the media era, and there will be photos and videos, and then people watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed."

The Taliban said shortly after taking power that the schedule for the Afghanistan men's team would not be interrupted, leading Cricket Australia to announce earlier this month it still hoped to host the landmark match on November 27.

On Thursday, Cricket Australia said driving the growth of women's cricket globally was "incredibly important" to the organisation.

"Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level," it said.

"If recent media reports that women's cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Test Match due to be played in Hobart."

During their first stint in power, the Taliban banned most forms of entertainment -- including many sports -- and stadiums doubled as public execution venues.

Despite promising to enforce a less strict version of Islamic law this time, the United Nations says women in Afghanistan are being prohibited from leaving home without a male family member and in some areas stopped from working. 

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