Murali challenges Hashan to prove match-fixing allegations

Muttiah Muralitharan said Hashan Tillakaratne must give proofs for match-fixing allegations. Getty Images

New Delhi: May 3, 2011

Retired Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan feels his former teammate Hashan Tillakaratne should either furnish proof of match-fixing by the country’s cricketers or stop making such allegations as he might just end up getting sued.

“I don’t know why he has said this. If somebody is making such claims, he should first give enough proof to support them otherwise someone can sue him,” Muralitharan told PTI Bhasha.

At a television chat show last week Tillakaratne said match-fixing existed in Sri Lankan cricket since 1992 and he would reveal the names soon. He also expressed reservations about the team selection for the 2011 World Cup. Tillakaratne, however, refused to divulge the names of those cricketers, saying he would make the revelations only to the ICC.

On being asked whether he had been approached by any bookie during his 18-year career, Muralitharan said never. “In any case I will tell this to ICC’s Anti Corruption Unit only. There is a code and all the players follow that,” said the veteran, who plays for IPL debutant Kochi Tuskars Kerala.

He also rejected suggestions that Tillakaratne’s allegations have tarnished the image of Sri Lankan Cricket. “Hashan has made allegations and only he is answerable for that. I don’t know what to say. These are mere allegations which have not been proved yet,” he said.

The highest wicket-taker in both Tests (800) and ODIs (519), Muralitharan retired from Tests in 2010. He played in five World Cup tournaments — 1996, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011. He was the part of Sri Lankan team that lost to India in 2011 final on April 2.