Ranatunga set to run Sri Lankan cricket

Published: Friday, July 14, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo:Sri Lanka's only World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga is among four cricketers recommended by ex-players to run the sport in the island nation, sources told AFP.

Elections to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), scheduled to be held on Saturday, were cancelled on the advice of the country's President Mahinda Rajapakse, who wanted former players to join an interim administration committee.

Former Test batsmen Sidat Wettimuny and Ken de Alwis, and fast bowler Pramodaya Wickramasinghe were the others besides Ranatunga to be recommended to the committee.

"We met the President today and submitted the names to him," said a former cricketer, who did not wish to be identified.

Ranatunga led Sri Lanka to World Cup glory in 1996 when his team defeated Australia in the final in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

Sports minister Jeevan Kumaratunga said the rival candidates for the SLC president's post, Jayantha Dharmadasa and Mohan de Silva, had also been asked to join the new committee as co-chairmen.

De Silva said he was considering the offer, but slammed the decision to call off the elections.

"We are deeply dejected with the latest development, he told AFP on Friday. "We were feeling very confident leading up to the elections but the sports minister called me and said the election was not going to take place.

"Well certainly consider the offer to join the committee. We are willing to work together."

Dharmadasa, the current interim head of the SLC, said he too had been confident of victory but accepted the decision to cancel the elections.

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