Ranatunga slams India, ICC for T20 mania

Ranatunga slams India, ICC for T20 mania

Former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga slammed the International Cricket Council and India for focusing too much attention on Twenty20 cricket at the expense of Tests.

By Adur Pradeep

Published: Fri 20 Apr 2012, 1:08 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:47 PM

“What is ICC? Do they have a single cricketer on their director board? When you take decisions on cricket, you need cricketers to take decisions. Presently the administrators who are taking decisions haven’t played cricket at all,” Ranatunga told reporters on the sidelines of the 13th Shyam Bhatia Awards night here on Wednesday.

“Their interest is to try and get more money to their cricket boards, more money to the country rather than protecting the game. This is the disaster we face,” he said.

“All the boards are controlled by India. If the ICC thinks that the World Test championship is not important and Twenty20 is important I am sure that they should check their brains. The biggest problem for them is that they are concerned about earning money only.”

The cricketer-turned politician also blasted other cricket boards for supporting India blindly.

“India controls cricket and all the boards have spineless people. They don’t want to take a decision hurting India and it hurts cricket eventually. It is the bottomline. People don’t realize the way it hurts cricket. The way India are heading now, I am telling you in two-three years’ time they’ll be really down in one-day and Test matches. They won’t be producing Gavaskars or Tendulkars or Dravids or Gangulys or Laxmans. They will produce some sloggers.”

He also criticised players for pressurising their boards to play in the money-spinning Indian Premier League.

“For me the country comes first. We played at the right time. Good that we are not playing now. The West Indies board allowed their players to go and play the IPL, but the board went ahead and played Australia in the Test series. That is a good approach and they say whoever wants to stay back and play can play for the nation and whoever wants to play IPL and earn money can do that.

“But what some players are doing? They are pressurizing their boards to cancel the tours because they will get a bad name in their own country. So they want to earn money from Test and one-day cricket in the country plus IPL. IPL is private franchise tournament so that should run differently,” he said. Though Sri Lanka is scheduled to host the fourth Twenty20 World Cup starting in September, the World Cup winning captain is least interested in the shorter format.

“I don’t follow T20 cricket. I am not a great T20 fan. I don’t even know who are the players in Twenty20.”

Asked about Sachin Tendulkar’s decision to continue playing one-day international cricket, he said: “The player should know when to retire. It is not a very easy decision to take. When I took my decision I always thought that I could have played for three more years. Now I feel that I took the right decision because people ask me why are you retiring rather than when are you retiring. Take the case of Sanath Jayasuria. Ultimately the entire country asked him when are you retiring and he still plays. Regarding Sachin, I still feel that there is lot of cricket in him. I want him to play Test cricket. Test cricket needs players like Sachin.”

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