Arjuna Ranatunga blames Sri Lanka's cricket chief for the defeats

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Arjuna Ranatunga blames Sri Lanka's cricket chief for the defeats

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SportsCafe Desk


Former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga has held Sri Lanka’s cricket chief responsible for the defeats and demands an investigation by the International Cricket Council. However the chief, Thilanga Sumathipala denied such accusations and alleged that Ranatunga wishes to take charge of the board.

The Sri Lankan team were beaten by an innings and 53 runs in the second Test against India and was also trampled in the first match by 304 runs. Last month, the team lost a one-day series on home soil to bottom-ranked Zimbabwe and went through an early exit from the Champions Trophy as well.

"There is no proper discipline in the team... (but) no point in blaming the cricketers when they get involved in all these gambling things. First, they have to get the officials in order," said Arjuna Ranatunga to AFP accusing Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala of being involved in gaming.

On the other hand, Sumathipala denied such claims and pointed the finger at Ranatunga who allegedly wants to take over the board.  

"I deny any involvement personally, directly or indirectly with gaming business," Sumathipala told AFP.

Reports of attempts to approach Sri Lankan players for suspected match-fixing have been doing rounds lately. Quite a few officials, umpires, and players were suspended or fined for association in match-fixing or for saying no to help with investigations. Ranatunga suggested that International Cricket Council must scrutinize Sumathipala over supposed gambling links and the inappropriate conduct of the Sri Lankan board.

"I want to know if the ICC has a backbone to check if these people (Sri Lanka Cricket management) are in compliance with ethical standards," Ranatunga said to AFP.

Criticizing Ranatunga, Sumathipala said, "If he wants to criticize the government, he must first resign. 

"Every time the game is affected at the middle, Sri Lanka cricketers are not performing to the expectation, we hear this kind of noise coming from the same quarter," Sumathipala added.

"The same man (Ranatunga) is continuously making every effort undemocratically, unethically to hold office of Sri Lanka Cricket, even when he has been democratically defeated more than once," added Sumathipala alleging that Ranatunga was eager to get rid of him as Sri Lanka's cricket chief, a position he tried and failed to secure in elections in January 2016. The next elections are due in five months. 

"I thought OK if the government thinks this is right - and I am part of this government - I tried to take a step back and allowed them (the board) to run. They have messed up everything," Ranatunga said.

In fact last month Ranatunga had asked for an investigation into the country's 2011 World Cup final defeat to India, to which Sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said he was prepared to order an inquiry given there was a written complaint.

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