Lankan players fixing matches since 1992, claims Tillakaratne

"I can tell this in agreement with my conscience. Match fixing is not something that started happening yesterday or today. According to my knowledge, it happened since 1992. I say this with great responsibility," Tillakaratne, who played 83 Tests and 200 ODIs for Sri Lanka, claimed.

Tillakaratne, who led the side in 10 Tests during his tenure as captain between 2003 and 2004, stopped short of calling the World Cup final on April 2 a fixed match but had some reservations about selection.

"I am not saying that this match (The world cup final) was fixed. But anyway match-fixing is something which has been in this country over a period of time. This has spread like a cancer today," he was quoted as saying by 'The Daily Mirror'.

"Why were four players changed for this match? Those are questions that should be asked. Arjuna (Ranatunga) spoke about this, we who have played cricket talk about this. We were playing an entirely different side.

"Why was Mendis removed to put another spinner, Kapugedara was never among runs but he was chosen to replace Chamara Silva. It is not fair, is it?" he added.

Interestingly, Tillakaratne had first made these comments on match-fixing in a television chat show almost a week after teh World Cup final but his comments largely went unnoticed at that time.

Sri Lanka's Sports Minister Mahindanada Aluthgamage rubbished Tillakaratne's claims and said that his comments were totally uncalled for.

"I deny his comments and Hashan should show proof of match-fixing to the Ministry. If he gives us something in writing, we will look into it. I don't think any Sri Lankan player would do such a thing, they play for the country and they would never think of doing such a thin. These allegations are baseless," he said.

Aluthgamage said Tillakaratne is making these claims to defame the government as he is now a part of opposition United National Party.

Tillakaratne said people involved in fixing matches have been successful in burying the issue with money power but he vowed to expose them soon.

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