COLOMBO: Former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga has blamed Sri Lanka’s string of humiliating defeats on the country’s cricket chief and demanded his investigation by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
In what could be the opening shots of a new bid to head Sri Lanka Cricket, Ranatunga, 53, told AFP there was no “proper discipline” in the national team which has had a horror run of results.
The team lost by an innings and 53 runs in the second Test against India on Sunday, after being crushed in the first match by 304 runs. They are now fighting to avoid a whitewash in the three-Test series.
Sri Lanka also suffered an early exit from the Champions Trophy, and lost a one-day series at home to bottom ranked Zimbabwe last month.Ranatunga accused Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala, 52, of being involved in gaming – a claim Sumathipala denies – and said he should not be allowed to hold office.
“There is no proper discipline in the team… (but) no point in blaming the cricketers when they get involved in all these gambling things. First they have to get the officials in order,” Ranatunga told.
There have been reports of attempts to approach Sri Lankan players for alleged match-fixing.Several officials, umpires and players have been suspended or fined for involvement in match-fixing or refusing to cooperate with investigations.
Ranatunga said the International Cricket Council should investigate Sumathipala over alleged gambling links and the conduct of the Sri Lankan board.“I want to know if the ICC has a backbone to check if these people (Sri Lanka Cricket management) are in compliance with ethics standards,” Ranatunga told.
There was no immediate comment from the ICC. But Sumathipala denied the allegation and accused Ranatunga of a smear campaign in a bid to take over the board.Sumathipala said Sri Lanka’s sports ministry and the ICC had both cleared him to hold office at SLC, as well as at the Asian Cricket Council and ICC.