Ranatunga hits out at the BCCI

Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga is known to speak his mind and that has often rubbed the cricket administrators the wrong way.

Ranatunga has been critical of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the BCCI on various issues.

Here on a trip to the Capital, the former left-handed batsman took another swipe at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), emphasising that it should come under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and be accountable.

Besides, he also felt that Twenty20 cricket is driving Indian cricket and Sri Lankans can no longer afford to look up to India players as role models in Test cricket.

Asked about the excessive dependence of Sri Lanka Board on the BCCI, he said, “We ( Sri Lanka Cricket) have been supported by the BCCI, Pakistan Board for many years. I always say that Indian cricket Board should come under the RTI. The worst part is that they are not answerable to anyone, not even to the sports ministry.

"They (BCCI) can do whatever they want. In Sri Lanka, at least we have the right to criticise the SLC in parliament and get it corrected if they do something wrong.”

There is a strong need to have cricketers in administration, the stalwart felt.

“I feel cricketers should get involved in the administration because they are the ones who know what is best for the game. I am not saying that don’t have the business people but they should not be taking the cricketing decisions. When you see players like (Dilip) Vengsarkar contesting for Mumbai and losing, it feels very sad and insecure as a cricketer. You need to involve players in the administration because players are the ones who can get rid of fixing, doping and corruption".

“The younger guys will listen to the senior cricketers, rather than the administrators who are businessmen. I have that experience when I was the cricket chairman,” he said on the sidelines of an event organised by the FICCI on ‘Sports Betting and Regulation.’

A vocal critic of the T20 game and particularly the Indian Premier League, the World Cup-winning captain said the ill-effects of the shortest
version is affecting the younger generation.

“The unfortunate part is that most of the younger players prefer to play the shorter version. It is because of the quick money they can make out of it. Test cricket is the ultimate. It is a sad scenario.”

“ Over the years, India has produced some top cricketers from the day we started watching. Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Pataudi were the elegant top cricketers. We have always looked up to India and learnt a lot. I don’t think we can do that anymore.” Ranatunga is not in favour of legalising sports betting.

“I don’t agree with that. You can debate for days and weeks, but I don’t think that would keep away the underworld and others such elements.” Asked about the World Cup 2011 final game between India and Sri Lanka, Ranatunga reiterated that he was surprised.

“You don’t make four changes in a World Cup final. I was very disappointed because there were players who came from outside. I can understand if players were injured. I think the captain is the only one who knows,” he said on a question whether he sensed something wrong with the decision and does the Sri Lankan Board need to look into it.

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