Ranatunga, De Silva caught between devil and sea

Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Colombo:Two of Sri Lanka's greatest cricketers, Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda De Silva, were caught in a crossfire between rival factions in the country's crisis-ridden cricket establishment.

The interim committee appointed by the government to run Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) want De Silva, the vice-president of the previous Board, removed from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) high-profile cricket committee and replaced by Ranatunga.

De Silva, who was preparing to attend the ICC cricket committee meeting in Dubai on May 16 and 17, said he was told by SLC officials he may not be needed to make the trip.

"I got a call from Duleep Mendis (the SLC's paid chief executive) saying the interim committee want to send Arjuna (Ranatunga) for the meeting," De Silva said.

"A newspaper quoted one of the members, Tryphon Mirando, as saying that I had told him I was not interested in remaining part of the ICC's cricket committee.

"This is entirely untrue since I have not spoken to Mirando. It is disgusting how these officials can twist facts to suit their convenience.

"I have received papers from the ICC about the meeting and was preparing to go to Dubai. But if my own Board does not want me to attend the meeting I will not go.

"I have nothing against Arjuna (Ranatunga) or anyone who attends on Sri Lanka's behalf. But the interim committee is obviously up to dirty tricks."

The ICC's cricket committee, headed by Sunil Gavaskar of India, comprises former players from member countries who advice the sport's world governing body on cricketing matters.

Sri Lanka's elected cricket Board, headed by Thilanga Sumathipala, was suspended by the country's sports ministry in March citing financial mismanagement and replaced by an interim committee.

Ranatunga, an outspoken critic of Sumathipala and a junior minister of tourism in the present government, was Sri Lanka's captain when the island nation won the World Cup in 1996.

De Silva, Ranatunga's long-time deputy, was regarded as one of the world's finest batsmen till he retired in 2003.

Write Comments