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‘Express regret over Arjuna Ranatunga’s comments’, says Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe to Jay Shah over phone


‘Express regret over Arjuna Ranatunga’s comments’, says Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe to Jay Shah over phone


Days after the International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended the cricket board of Sri Lanka, citing the interference by the government, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on 17 November called Asian Cricket Council (ACC) President Jay Shah and expressed regret over the remarks of Arjuna Ranatunga blaming him for the collapse of Sri Lankan cricket, reported The Hindu.

Earlier, former World Cup-winning Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga had accused Jay Shah of ‘running’ and ‘ruining’ Sri Lanka Cricket.

“The President spoke to Mr. Shah yesterday (Thursday) morning. Today, me and my Cabinet colleague (Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera) apologised in Parliament for those comments targeting him (Shah),” The Hindu quoted Tourism Minister Harin Fernando as saying.

ALSO READ: ICC suspends Sri Lanka cricket board due to government interference

“We as a Government express our regret to the Asian Cricket Council Chief Jay Shah. We cannot point fingers at him, or other countries, for the shortcomings of our institutions. It is a wrong assumption,” the report added the Minister Wijesekera told the Parliament.

The following report arrives at a time after Sri Lanka’s dismal performance in the ongoing ICC World Cup. Upset with the performance of the team against India in the league match, the country’s Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe sacked the national cricket board.

Ranasinghe then appointed Ranatunga to lead an interim committee to clean up the country’s cricketing scene. But Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal not only restored the Cricket Board, it also quashed the sports minister’s decision.

ICC Suspension:

With so much politics happening and the government interfering in the cricket board, the ICC suspended Sri Lanka’s membership.

“The ICC Board met today and determined that Sri Lanka Cricket is in serious breach of its obligations as a Member, in particular, the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government interference in the governance, regulation, and/or administration of cricket in Sri Lanka. The conditions of the suspension will be decided by the ICC Board in due course,” ICC said in a release.

In the meantime, Sri Lanka’s Parliament passed a unanimous resolution and sacked the country’s cricket board. The Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa, even alleged there was an ‘international conspiracy’ to ban Sri Lanka cricket and named Jay Shah.

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Updated: 17 Nov 2023, 07:13 PM IST


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