Former Sri Lanka spin ace Muttiah Muralitharan has completely denied the allegations hurled at them by World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga that the 2011 World Cup final was fixed. Muralitharan who was part of the Sri Lankan Playing XI which lost to India in the 2011 final said that India was the better team on that day and that was the sole reason behind them winning the cup.
“India’s was the best team and ours was the second best team in the tournament,” Muralitharan told Santosh Menon on the chat show called Chat-athon. He further stated that it was the injuries sustained by Angelo Mathews and himself which was the reason behind their downfall. While Muralitharan played with the injury, Mathews who was batting well had to miss the all-important final.
“We had a good opportunity to win in the final, but two things happened. I had a groin injury in the semi final and Angelo Mathews, who was among runs was completely out (final) because he was injured,” said Muralitharan. “The batsmen were scoring runs but the middle order batsmen didn’t click in few matches and the selectors made 3-4 changes and it was far than a regular team.
“(On winning the toss) the senior players and the selectors were scared of chasing the target and thought of batting first. But in my mind was to bat second because I thought India could chase any target and this was intimated to the team-management. This I had told to them with my previous tour experience of dew factor,” he said. “But Sanga said he has been promised by the match referee that they would spray the chemicals and no dew threat to the final.”
Murali also blamed due as a reason which played a part in Sri Lanka’s downfall on 2nd April 2011.
“Within 15 overs dew came and they could do nothing. There was no match-fixing but Mathews’ injury, miscalculation (on dew factor) cost us the World Cup final,” he said. “But we can’t take away credit from India,” conceded Murali.