• Last Update 2023-02-04 20:06:00

Cricket: Nishantha Ranatunga petitions against Thilanga Sumathipala candidacy

Sport

Former Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga says that even against seemingly heavy odds he has come forward to contest for the post of SLC President for the sole reason of saving the game’s future for the next cricketing generation. 

Ranatunga said, “I field an 1,800 page objection against the candidacy of incumbent SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala to the newly set-up Elections Commission of the SLC and awaiting its response”. 

He said all 1,800 pages and every word that it contains explain as to say why Sumathipala should be found ineligible. 

Cricket has fallen into very low depths, he said and explained, “During the time I was performing the duties of SLC secretary our team managed to maintain a very high profile at international cricket. Twice we were the runners-up of the ICC ODI tournament and we won the T-20 ICC Championship in 2014. Now, ironically, we are occupying the 7th, 8th, and 9th positions in the respective categories. We kept a good profile with regard to our junior cricket at under 15, 17 and 19 levels. We developed these categories nationally and internationally and this resulted in us having a good feeder point to our national grid. I see this aspect to our cricket has fallen apart and the results are more than evident. At present, we are below Afghanistan in the ICC rankings in T-20. I think in just three years, our cricket has fallen thirty years behind.” 

Besides, there is a charge that Sumathipala is connected to the gaming industry, Ranatunga claims. 

At the same time there are investigations on match-fixing and spot fixing. ICC anti-corruption unit is conducting various investigations which are still on, Ranatunga said, adding that the Sumathipala has direct links to the media circuit, besides the gaming industry. 

Ranatunga said, “Sumathipala claims that he earned a billion rupee income in spite of the falling levels of cricket in the country. I am happy to say that this revenue that the SLC had yielded was a direct result of our Future Tours Programme negotiating skills during the 2014 era. There we negotiated for some good deals for Sri Lanka Cricket; and now the present administration is reaping the harvest. I am really curious to find out how our next FTP is going to be -- which was negotiated by the present administration and in 2022 what our projected revenue would be? 

“At the same time the Sumathipala administration is gloating about the revenue collected for the Lankan administration during the Nidahas Trophy, but I say that being very familiar with negotiating tours with the Indian administration, we could have made much more and at the same time I think we got a raw deal with the TV rights during that tour.” 

Nishantha Ranatunga and Jayantha Dharmadasa put up their papers for candidacy along with Thilanga Sumathipala and Mohan de Silva. 

They are vying for the post of president at the May 31 elections. But the newly set up elections commission has pronounced that Jayantha Dharmadasa is ineligible to stand for the position of SLC President.

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