Former player and selector Pramodya Wickramasinghe has claimed that he never levelled any allegations against Sri Lankan players and only wanted a probe into "floating rumours" of corruption following the team's string of poor performances.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has launched an anti-corruption investigation in Sri Lanka, a day after 40 of its contracted players called for an immediate inquiry into certain "shocking" allegations made by Wickremasinghe.
The former fast bowler had made allegations during an interview to a local television station that there were "unnatural match patterns" and player selections and blamed the current management for the team's poor performance.
However, Wickremesinghe later issued a statement, saying: "At no point, I was making allegations against players, what I did was to bring out floating rumours and call for a proper inquiry."
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said that the players expressed profound "shock and displeasure" and rejected the allegations of Wickremesinghe as totally "baseless, disparaging and hurtful".
The players, including captains Dinesh Chandimal and Upul Tharanga, urged SLC to initiate an immediate inquiry by summoning Wickremasinghe as they had all been slandered by his "diabolic allegations".
A member of the 1996 World Cup winning team, Wickremasinghe has played 40 Tests and 134 ODIs for Sri Lanka.