Ranatunga ready to contest cricket board polls
Sri Lankan cricketer turned politician Arjuna Ranatunga Wednesday said he may consider contesting the elections for the national cricket board if the need arises.
Colombo: Sri Lankan cricketer turned politician Arjuna Ranatunga Wednesday said he may consider contesting the elections for the national cricket board if the need arises.
The minister for ports, shipping and aviation, who was a national cricket captain when Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 1996 said that he is ready to contest the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) in order to further improve the game in the country, reports Xinhua.
Cricket grew in popularity in Sri Lanka after Ranatunga led the team to victory in the 1996 World Cup final.
However, the administration of the game in recent years has been laid by allegations of corruption and mismanagement.
"So many people have spoken to me about the upcoming cricket board elections. In the recent past cricket has been politicised in Sri Lanka. The game was administered according to what the former president and some politicians had wanted. The game had been destroyed as a result of that," Ranatunga said.
"Sportsmen should not get involved in politics when they are still playing the game. The new government wants to ensure that the game is free of politics. If I get involved with the cricket board I will ensure that there is no politics in the game," Ranatunga added.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) recently announced that it will hold elections to appoint office bearers to the cricket board April 30.
SLC said that following a request made by the Executive Committee, the minister of sports and tourism Naveen Dissanayake had given his approval to hold the elections April 30.
The request was made in view of the ongoing World Cup, the SLC said.
The country's cricket board has been facing corruption allegations in the recent years with a coalition political party, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) lodging a complaint last month at the country's Bribery and Corruption Commission against key members heading the board in the past.
The complaint was lodged against the former sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, who is also the brother of Arjuna Ranatunga, and the cricket board on 25 incidents of allegations including misuse of board positions and other frauds.