Ranatunga keen to head cricket Board to arrest slide

Published: Monday, November 11, 2002, 0:39 [IST]
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Colombo: Former captain Arjuna Ranatunga on Sunday said he was hoping to head the Sri Lankan cricket administration next year. I will contest for the post of president of the cricket Board," Ranatunga told local media here. Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to an epic triumph in the 1996 World Cup, retired in 2000 after an 18-year international career beginning with Sri Lanka's debut Test in 1982. After hanging up his bat, Ranatunga ventured into politics and got elected as a legislator on a ticket from the main opposition People's Alliance party last year. "It is my duty to contribute towards arresting the dropping standard of the game. If this trend continues even Bangladesh will beat us in 3-4 years time," Ranatunga said. Sri Lankan cricket administration has been plagued by scandal and controversy and an interim committee has run the administration since March 2001. Ranatunga's bid to get elected as the president of the Board of Control Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) is expected to face a serious challenge from Tilanga Sumathipala, a former incumbent in the post. If elected, Ranatunga would be the third member of his family to join cricket administration. His elder brother Dammika, a former Sri Lankan Test player, held the post of BCCSL chief executive. Younger brother Prasanna is a former vice-president of the board. However, a proposed law barring politicians from sports governing bodies might be an obstacle and Ranatunga has filed a case in the Supreme Court saying such a law would be "a violation of his fundamental rights." The case is pending in court.

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