- Former skipper of the national cricket team of Sri Lanka comes out with accusations of gambling problems and match-fixing
- This isn’t the first time Arjuna Ranatunga has shared similar views
According to Arjuna Ranatunga, a former cricket team skipper, the poor performance and the series of defeats for the Sri Lanka national cricket team are the result of sports betting problems, which start at the very top.
According to Ranatunga, who might be eying the spot as the new cricket president in the country, current president Thilanga Sumathipala is involved in gambling and should be removed from his position.
Ranatunga is well-known in the country as he is a World Cup-winning skipper and a politician, so his accusations, which Sumathipla refuses entirely, do have some weight.
According to him, the biggest problem of the team is the lack of discipline, but it all starts with gaming, which is the root of all issues Sri Lanka cricket team is dealing with.
Calling for an ICC investigation
This isn’t the first time cricket players and officials are being connected to gambling scandals. There have been earlier reports about attempts to fix matches and a number of players and sport officials have been suspended or fined for their involvement in match-fixing.
For all these reasons, Ranatunga is calling for an all-out investigation by the International Cricket Council (ICC). He wants this state body to closely look into potential gambling issues that could be pestering the team and remove those responsible.
Sumathipala on the defensive
Current Cricket President Thilanga Sumathipala denied all of these allegations, emphasizing they appear every time the national team is in a bad shape.
The President remains firm in his stance that there are no gambling issues or match fixing taking place behind the scenes, adding that these types of accusations always seem to come from the same direction whenever the Sri Lanka national team isn’t meeting the expectations.
Sumathipala went all out in his public response, stating that Ranatunga keeps trying to get the presidential positions in an unethical and undemocratic way, despite the fact he repeatedly lost at board elections.
It is true that this isn’t the first time Ranatunga came out with match-fixing accusations, as back in 2011, after Sri Lanka had lost to India in the 2011 World Cup final, he shared similar thoughts on the situation in the national team.
It remains to be seen if Ranatunga’s accusations will be confirmed and if ICC will take them seriously. Dayasiri Jayasekera, country’s sports minister, stated that he had no problems with launching an investigation if he receives a formal, written complaint.
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