Cricket World Cup 2023: Sri Lankan sports minister demands board's resignation after India debacle

Ranasinghe who accused them of being "traitorous and corrupt", upped the stakes by telling officials and selectors to quit

By AFP

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Sri Lanka did not have much to celebrate at the World Cup. Sri Lanka's top five batters could aggregate just two runs combined which is the fewest in men's ODI innings ever, during their 302 run loss to India on Thursday. - Reuters
Sri Lanka did not have much to celebrate at the World Cup. Sri Lanka's top five batters could aggregate just two runs combined which is the fewest in men's ODI innings ever, during their 302 run loss to India on Thursday. - Reuters

Published: Sat 4 Nov 2023, 9:57 PM

Anger over Sri Lanka's miserable World Cup campaign has erupted after a humiliating 302-run thrashing by hosts India, with the island nation's sports minister demanding the cricket board's resignation.

Sri Lanka were dismissed for 55 while chasing 358 in Mumbai on Thursday, the fourth-lowest total at a World Cup tournament.

Sports minister Roshan Ranasinghe, who has long been at loggerheads with the board and previously accused it of being "traitorous and corrupt", upped the stakes by telling officials and selectors to quit.

"Sri Lanka Cricket officials have no moral or ethical right to remain in office," the minister said in a statement issued on Friday night. "They should voluntarily resign."

Local newspapers echoed Ranasinghe's dismay with mass daily Lankadeepa on Saturday writing that explanations were needed from coaching staff over the "heart-wrenching defeat".

"SACK THEM ALL," screamed the front-page headline of the Daily Mirror, in reference to the board.

Board sources said an explanation had been called from coaching staff over the crushing defeat.

Ranasinghe on Saturday appealed to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to allow him to appoint a panel to investigate the local board.

"Sri Lanka Cricket has been besieged with complaints of player disciplinary issues, management corruption, financial misconduct, and match-fixing allegations," Ranasinghe said in a letter to the ICC released to Sri Lankan media.

Sri Lanka has not won the World Cup since its sole victory in 1996, with Ranasinghe blaming the board for the "deterioration" of standards since then.

Another cabinet minister, Prasanna Ranatunga, told parliament in August that Sri Lanka's win turned out to be a "curse" in disguise that fostered a culture of corruption spanning decades.

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"The World Cup victory was the biggest curse for our cricket," said Ranatunga, the younger brother of Arjuna Ranatunga, who skippered Sri Lanka to victory that year.

"Money started flowing to the cricket board after 1996 and with that came those who wanted to steal."


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