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Ranatunga lauds Clarke for snubbing IPL, Big Bash riches

Colombo, Thu, 08 Sep 2011 ANI

Colombo, Sept 8(ANI): Former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga has praised Australian skipper Michael Clarke for snubbing the lucrative Indian Premier League and the Big Bash.


"I'm really impressed with the way Michael Clarke has been captaining... His passion for cricket, rather than thinking of earning money and focusing on other areas ... is admirable. There are lots of cricketers today who will sacrifice their country for money," The Age quoted Ranatunga, as saying.


He said Clarke was setting an example to Sri Lankan players who he claimed were lacking in commitment to the Test format of the game.I'm not really sure if [the Sri Lankans] are focused enough to play the longer version. I am very disappointed with the commitment of most of the players. In particular I am really worried about a couple of the batsmen," the ex-captain said.


Ranatunga also took Sri Lankan selectors to task, saying that the decision to leave spinner Ajantha Mendis out of last week's first Test in Galle was "unbelievable".


"I personally feel there have been a lot of selection blunders. They have not picked the right side, especially when they play on a turning track like Galle, they should have played Ajantha Mendis. He has been very dangerous bowling against England and Australia ... keeping him out was unbelievable," he said.


Ranatunga also expressed concern over a lack of forward planning in Sri Lankan cricket, the report said.


The country has not won any of the nine Tests played since the retirement of Muthiah Muralidaran last year, and is facing the prospect of replacing the team's three most accomplished players- captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara- in the next few years, it added. (ANI)


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