World Cup winning former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga has alleged that Sri Lanka Cricket is sweeping the match fixing investigations in the controversial First Class game between Panadura SC and Kalutara Physical Culture Club under the carpet because several powerful members of the Executive Committees are involved in the incident.
A lot of suspicious activities took place in the First Class game between Panadura SC and Kalutara PCC in early January this year and Chamara Silva, the captain of Panadura pulled out of the contest in protest to get involved in foul play.
“The game between Kaluthara and Panadura was fixed. It’s very clear. A complaint had been lodged. The inquiry has taken more than seven months. The guys who were involved in fixing the game are members or the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket,” Ranatunga told.
“So when people are up to dirty tricks how can you expect cricket to run smoothly. They dragged the inquiry and they are going to sweep it under the carpet. I’m a little concerned about the young generation, especially the school cricketers. It’s high time that the current cricket establishment is sent home and an Interim Committee is put in place. If we are going to turn a blind eye to things like these, we are heading towards disaster,” Ranatunga added.
In the game that has come under the investigation, day one of at Surrey Village in Maggona went without any incident with Kalutara PCC scoring 362 for eight at stumps. Day two was affected by rain and half of the day was lost as only 45 overs were bowled. Panadura SC in reply were 180 for two at stumps. With the game heading for a draw, a plan was hatched up to fix the game on the night of 24th January.
On day three, resuming from the overnight score of 180 for two in 45 overs, Panadura SC went onto post 423 all out in 68 overs. In other words, on the third morning, they scored 243 run in 23 overs at more than ten runs an over!
The rest of the game too went at breakneck speed.
Kalutara PCC posted 197 runs in their second innings in 22 overs going at a rate of 8.6. That set Panadura a target of 165 in 15 overs and they achieved it going at 12 runs an over.
What the result meant was that Sri Lanka Ports Authority, who were table leaders in Tier ‘B’ and were looking set to promotion had to slip down to number two at the expense of Panadura SC, who were promoted to the top division.
Panadura’s gains are clear. What did Kalutara PCC gain by match-fixing. By agreeing to score enough runs and getting the opposition bowled out in the first innings, they too gained sufficent points to remain in Tier ‘B’ without being relegated to Sara Trophy.
The umpires, Jayantha de Silva and Gamini Silva, and Match Referee S. Faumi, have raised issues about this game.