“He expressed his regret over Arjuna Ranatunga’s comments,” Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe tells Jay Shah over the phone. – Magazine Creations

Days after the International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended Sri Lanka’s cricket board, citing government interference, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on November 17 called Asian Cricket Council (ACC) president Jay Shah and expressed his regret over Arjuna’s remarks. He reported that Ranatunga blames him for the collapse of Sri Lankan cricket Hindus.

Earlier, former World Cup-winning Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga accused Jay Shah of “running” and “sabotaging” Sri Lankan cricket.

“The President spoke with Mr. Shah yesterday (Thursday) morning. Today, my Cabinet colleague (Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera) and I apologized in Parliament for those comments targeting him (the Shah).” Hindus Tourism Minister Harin Fernando was quoted as saying.

Read also: ICC suspends Sri Lanka Cricket Board over government interference

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

The following report comes at a time after Sri Lanka’s poor performance in the ongoing ICC World Cup. Upset by the team’s performance 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 cricket scene. But the Sri Lanka Court of Appeal not only reinstated the Cricket Board, but also overturned the decision of the Sports Minister.

ICC comment:

With a lot of political events happening and government interference 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 requirements to administer its affairs independently and ensure that there is no government interference in the governance, regulation and/or administration of cricket in Sri Lanka,” the ICC said. In a statement, the terms of the suspension will be decided by the Board of Directors of the International Criminal Court in due course.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Parliament passed a unanimous resolution and sacked the country’s cricket board. Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa even claimed that there was an “international conspiracy” to ban cricket in Sri Lanka and named him as Jay Shah.

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Updated: 17 November 2023, 07:13 PM IST


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