Sri Lanka government apologizes to Jay Shah over Arjuna Ranatunga’s ‘ridiculous’ remarks
Ministers Harin Fernando and Kanchana Wijesekara apologized.
Jay Shah is the President of the Asian Cricket Council. Sports hall
The Sri Lankan government has issued a formal apology to Jay Shah, President of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), for the controversial remarks made by former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga.
Ranatunga’s remarks, which blamed Shah for the decline of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), prompted the government to express regret during a parliamentary session.
Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to their only World Cup victory in 1996, said, “Because of the connection between the SLC officials and Jay Shah, they (the BCCI) are of the opinion that it is possible with them to trample and control SLC. Sri Lanka Cricket is run by Jay Shah. SLC is being destroyed due to pressure from Jay Shah. One man in India is ruining Sri Lankan cricket. He is only powerful because of his father, who is home minister in India.”
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It was the Minister of Tourism Harin Fernando, and Kanchana Wijesekara who apologized. They also clarified that the responsibility for the cricketing issues lies with the Sri Lankan administrators and not external influences.
Minister Wijesekera said during the parliamentary session that the government showed regret to the ACC president Shah. He added that the blame for the shortcomings of their institutions cannot be directed at the president of the Asian Cricket Council or even at other countries.
Furthermore, Fernando said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has initiated communication with Shah to address the ban imposed on SLC by the International Cricket Council (ICC). He also said that the ICC ban could have a negative impact, especially on the upcoming U-19 Cricket World Cup scheduled for January.
“If the ICC ban is not lifted, nobody will visit Sri Lanka for the tournament. Sri Lanka will not earn a single penny from the cricket tournament as well,” said Fernando.
Read | ICC suspension of SLC ‘illegal’, says Sri Lankan sports minister
Last week, the ICC suspended SLC with immediate effect due to significant government interference in the administration of the board. Although labeled as a “suspension,” it serves as a warning from the ICC to discourage continued government interference in SLC operations.
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