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Political interference ruining Sri Lankan cricket: Ranatunga

Dubai, Thu, 19 Apr 2012 ANI

Dubai, Apr 19 (ANI): Former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga, who is on a mission to rescue Sri Lankan cricket, has lashed out at his cricket board as well as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for harming the game through the Indian Premier League.

Ranatunga, who is in Dubai to give away the Shyam Bhatia annual cricket awards, blamed politics for the bad state of the game in Sri Lanka.

"The main factor is that politics has got involved with cricket. Starting from the president of the country, the interference into cricket is unbelievable. In my time cricketers were not used by the politicians for their success," Ranatunga told Gulf News.

"It happened when President Mahinda Rajapaksa contested for the second time and he got most of the cricketers to go on advertisements for his success. Now the president and ministers are interfering with cricket with the sports minister putting a finger in everything. This is one of the factors for our cricket disaster," he said.

Commenting on the unprofessional conduct of Sri Lankan cricket, he said: "Yes the cricket board is run by people who will say yes to the president and the government.

When I was in the cricket board, the former sports minister wanted the board to pay the bill for his political function. I refused, though some said we should pay. I made it very clear that cricket money should be invested in cricket and not to keep politicians happy."

Ranatunga further said the state of the game in the country is going from bad to worse as cricket is being run by people who want this to be a business rather than an investment in promoting the game. (ANI)


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