‘I don’t watch cricket anymore,’ says Ranatunga

Since retiring, Ranatunga has entered politics and was an unelected cricket administrator in 2008.

COLOMBO: Former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga on Wednesday lambasted the country’s cricket leaders and said he had stopped watching the ailing national team.

Ranatunga, 53, said he was also disillusioned with the government of which he is a minister because it failed to protect the game.

“Frankly, I don’t watch cricket anymore,” Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to a World Cup triumph in 1996, told AFP. “I read about it in the newspapers but I don’t watch cricket.”

Since retiring, the sports star has entered politics and was an unelected cricket administrator in 2008.

“I am disappointed about cricket since the last elections,” he said.

Ranatunga and his brother stood for the top two posts on the Sri Lankan cricket board in January last year but were easily beaten by Thilanga Sumathipala and his team.

Ranatunga, who is the petroleum minister, is pushing for the ousting of the leadership and the appointment of an interim committee to administer the game.

He said he had asked authorities to intervene in Sri Lanka Cricket but has had no response.

“I thought OK, if the government thinks this is right — and I am part of this government — I tried to take a step back and allowed them to run. They (the board) has messed up everything.”

“No one is willing to listen to me.”

Ranatunga has not missed much in stopping watching the national side. Sri Lanka lost a home one-day series to Zimbabwe last month and were hammered in the first Test against India at the weekend.

Last month Ranatunga demanded an investigation into the country’s 2011 World Cup final defeat by India amid allegations of match-fixing.

Sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekera has said he was willing to order a probe if there was a written complaint.