It’s May and a good time for another fight for Ranatunga. This one has been brewing ever since Sri Lankan sports minister Gamini Lokuge relieved Arjuna Ranatunga of his duties as chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket’s interim committee.
As soon as Ranatunga was shown the door he and his side kick Hashan Tillakaratne were busy trying to dig up dirt on Lokuge.
It’s no secret that from the moment Ranatunga walked into Sri Lanka Cricket he had nothing but negative confrontations. The issues with Lalit Modi, player contracts and a host of other issues that would take me yonks to go through.
Now Ranatunga claims he was sacked because Lokuge didn’t want him in the picture when he signed two questionable television deals with Nimbus and Ten Sports.
"I have serious doubts whether I was removed from the board to facilitate these two television contracts," Ranatunga queried when ‘The Island’ contacted him for his views on the developments.
"I am stunned to hear that the five-match ODI series and the Twenty-20 early this year were signed for a sum of US$ six million. In 2008, when India played five ODIs, we got US$ 11 million. That’s the rate that Indian teams generally attract. This time, there was an additional day-night game and a Twenty-20 game which we didn’t have in 2008. I am just stunned to hear what’s going on," Ranatunga said.
If entering into a contract with a company (Nimbus) that had been blacklisted by SLC was bad enough, the Indian company is still to pay 2.8 US$ and SLC is on the verge of sending a letter of demand to Nimbus Pvt. Ltd.
"We already have experience where a previous board agreed for arbitration with Nimbus in Singapore and ended up losing millions of dollars. I am told that the Sports Minister has repeated that blunder this time. I would like to know whether the Minister consulted anyone before entering into these contracts," Ranatunga asked.
"I am told that with Nimbus, the Minister opened bids on Friday and closed bids on Monday. Now if you want the best price for Sri Lankan cricket, why would you do that?
"Our President and the Government will go down in the history for finishing this war and heralding in a new era. At the same time the actions of this Sports Minister too will put our government in history books for all the wrong reasons." – Island
I maybe wrong but in 2008 SLC received $11 Million because the series included 3 test matches. And Nimbus was the only available option at the time because no other party showed interest. If Nimbus fails to pay up you take them to court and include your legal fees in the final settlement. It is as simple as that.
I am not siding Lokuge in this matter. Let them all crash and burn for all I care. Lokuge and Ranatunga cannot help Sri Lankan Cricket. Politicians should play no part in our sport.