Ex-captain leads protest against Sri Lanka Cricket

Colombo: Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga helped launch a protest on Thursday against alleged corruption in the governing body and the politicization of its administration.

Ranatunga is now an opposition lawmaker in Sri Lanka and joined several others to launch a petition in Colombo, demanding an end to the government appointing interim committees to run Sri Lanka Cricket.

Cricket officials were accused of corruption and mismanagement as the governing body accumulated USD 69 million in debt after co-hosting the World Cup with India and Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka`s sports minister fired the previous administration earlier this month and appointed another interim five-man committee.

Ranatunga said the government has politicized cricket and other sports by appointing interim committees to run their administration.

"Sri Lanka Cricket has become bankrupt and authorities have no interest in rectifying this sad situation," he said. He called on the public "to join hands to stop political interference and restore the image of sports."

SLC has been run by successive interim committees, picked by politicians, for seven years.

The International Cricket Council this month unanimously decided to amend its laws to make free elections mandatory for all national bodies by mid-2012. Sri Lankan authorities have said election for SLC will be held next year.

Ranatunga, who played for Sri Lanka from 1982 to 2000, led the national team in 1996 when the team beat Australia in the final to win the World Cup.

Cricket is the most popular and wealthiest sport in the country, but infighting among those seeking a spot on the board and political interference has resulted in elections for office holders not being held for seven years.


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