Arjuna Ranatunga took over the helm of Sri Lanka cricket in January of this year. He claimed he would stamp out corruption, audit SLC expenditure and "Be The Man". Twelve months into the post he has successfully managed to turn the players against him, drag Sri Lanka cricket into a legal battle with Ten Sports and by hastily planning a tour – with little or no research – he managed to make an absolute mockery of the Sri Lankan cricket establishment in England. That’s just the tip of the iceberg folks when you consider the fact that Arjuna has also managed to destroy the good relations which existed between the Indian and Sri Lankan cricket boards.
Some of us have not fully grasped what the SLC has really lost. It is much more than the loss of a few cricket matches, soured relationships or half full pockets of the IPL contracted players. Arjuna has repeatedly pointed out what Sri Lanka Cricket has lost from the postponement of the tour to England ($2M). He fails to mention the losses incurred by the board due to the scheduling of a tour that would collide with the IPL. He has also failed to mention the price SLC is paying for his irresponsible comments directed towards the Indian backed IPL tournament. By not being supportive of the IPL Sri Lanka cricket over all, including the players, will loose out on revenue from the Champions League ($4M), Indian tour of Sri Lanka 2009 ($15M) and the proposed Indian tour in 2010, another whopping figure of fifteen million dollars.
Even in hindsight – knowing that going to England would bankrupt a board running on a huge over draft – would not have changed Arjuna’s stance.
There lays the problem.
When the England – IPL tour conflict first arose India proposed a deal which was to secure Sri Lankan participation in the IPL for a lucrative price. Arjuna’s negative comments towards the IPL even after such a gracious endeavour by the Indian board pushed the Indians to put a hold on the deal. For a man running a cricket board on negative Rs. 375 Million Ranatunga cannot afford such confrontations and then claim his stance is for the benefit of Sri Lanka Cricket. Not when the facts are this obvious. No expense should be spared to researching a decision. The lack of any proper planning and complete hot headed vindictiveness has left Sri Lanka Cricket in dire straights. Such actions should not be over looked or ignored.
My stance has always been one of calling it as I see it; I don’t belong to either the pro Ranatunga party nor the anti Ranatunga brigade. I am merely calling it as I see it.