"Public Cannot Blame Me: I Have Tried My Best To Save Cricket: SLC Election Has Now Become A Gamble:" Arjuna After SLC Election Loss

February 21, 2019

Former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga said the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) election has become a gamble. 

Speaking to the media after his defeat to Ravin Wickremaratne who became the new Vice Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket, Ranatunga said he tried his best to defeat the "mafia" that was running the country's cricket administration. 

All candidates backed by former SLC Chairman Thilanga Sumathipala secured key positions at Sri Lanka Cricket — the governing body of the country's most popular sport — at a hotly contested election this morning. 

Shammi Silva, a candidate backed by Sumathipala, was elected the new President of Sri Lanka Cricket defeating well-known businessman Jayantha Dharmadasa, backed by Ranatunga. 

This was Sri Lanka's World Cup winning captain Ranatunga's third unsuccessful attempt at securing a post at SLC after 2008. 

"Sports clubs voted for the other side as they dished out money. They have direct links to gambling and also face match-fixing allegations. If the representatives of sports club need such people in the country's cricket administration, I can only feel sorry about the future of the game." 

"My only intention was to resurrect the game within the next eight months. Our cricket is now in an appalling state. I wanted to rescue it," Ranatunga said explaining why he opted to run for the election. 

"The public cannot blame me. I have tried my best to save our cricket. But I could not compete with the gamblers," he added. 

Delivering a veiled attack on Sumathipala, a national list opposition MP who failed to secure a seat at the last Parliamentary election, Ranatunga said, "They can only win elections by dishing out money. They can never get elected by the people. They would not have represented Parliament had it not been for the national list. I have proven time and time again that I can get elected from whatever party I decide to contest."