COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s longest serving cricket captain and member of the opposition DNA party in parliament, Arjuna Ranatunga, claims that it was the interest shown by businessmen in the game, after Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup win, that proved a bad influence on the game.
“After 1996, cricket went into the hands of businessmen. This happened with the ICC World Cup victory by Sri Lanka. Money flowed into cricket thereafter. These businessmen were aware how to deal with whatever government was in power,” said the newspaper Daily News, quoting his speech in the Sri Lankan parliament on Wednesday.
Countering his claim, Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said:
“I say with responsibility that our cricket is not experiencing a decline. This is a false statement…We have implemented a long-term plan for promotion of cricket and other sports.”
Ranatunga’s comments follow Hashan Tillekeratne’s charge on match-fixing in Sri Lanka. Hashan, former Sri Lankan cricket captain and Western Provincial Council member for the opposition UNP, has so far not given the proof for the fixing allegations that he had levelled.
Courtesy: The Hindu