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"Most revelations of Cricket institute ... kept in the dark" -- allegations from Arjuna


"Most revelations of Cricket institute ... kept in the dark" -- allegations from Arjuna

Former cricket captain and member of parliament, Mr. Arjuna Ranathunga has said that though president Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said that the media has complete freedom, newspapers revealing abut the cricket board has been prohibited to journalists. Mr. Ranathunga spoke about this at a media briefing held (6 yesterday to create awareness about management of Sri Lanka Cricket. What he further said was that the president's first duty was to clean up the cricket board. 

Further matters and ideas that Mr. Arjuna Ranathunga expressed at this media discussion is
mentioned hereforth. "In the speech delivered to the public by Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on independence day, he said that the media has complete freedom today ... that anybody has the right to express ideas freely. That then is a good decision of president. But the news correspondent, Pethum Wijeyratna of 'Today' newspaper has been banned from visiting the cricket board for having spoken ill about shortcomings of the cricket board. What president said that day was that media has been given all facilities. Then in that case, is the cricket board above above the president? 

We saw the president visiting visiting various institutions. But it is at the cricket board where the biggest rogues are. What I think is that the president should first of all visit the cricket board. If president asks us too to come .. we will come ... we'll show all the culprits. Therefore, it would be better if the president would give priority to clean up the cricket board together with the minister.

We carried on a good lot of work in conjunction with former minister of sports (Harin Fernando) across parliament. Match fixing, those linked to gambling should be removed from the game. Brought various Acts and had them approved by parliament. In the same way, there are some matters identified from the report obtained across the COPE. With that I remember that when we tabled this Act in parliament, though we were with the government faction ... a former Mp of the opposition opposed it. In the same way, the previously-mentioned report obtained across COPE comes to parliament as a special report. So many things have been kept under the carpet in this report. We hope to discuss this matter in future across COPE committee. What is stated at the top of the said report has not been mentioned properly at the bottom. 

According to report, money has been expended saying it is to build a cricket campus. But the lands gave not been properly acquired as such. Cheques have been issued to various people. All this is in the said report. Those days though we had a government for us ... as the president and prime minister were of different parties, we could not attend to carry out the proper things. In particular, people connected to these things, get hold of political leaders. Fraudsters, the corrupted, casino dealers, book-makers ... what all these people do is get hold of political leadership. Without embarrassment, this happened even during our time as well. I am one of the pioneers who brought president Mr. Maithripala Sirisena. But unfortunately it his during period that the game of cricket was shattered. That is because individuals who destroy cricket were taken on to the lap and the game of cricket was destroyed. He can never get over that sin. 

The act of enlisting in Hathurusingha is a dictatorial decision. The methodology in which it was carried out has not been properly done. He has been enlisted the way one wants. Mr. Hathurusingha has claimed a compensation for the injustice done to him. But what I think is that this money need not be paid by cricket administration ... it should be claimed from the people who are connected to this and acted as dictators. The cricket board or the government need not pay for this. 

The cricket board at present has about 40 legal cases against them. A large amount of legal fees is being paid. A big sum of money is being paid to the lawyer who appears on behalf of the board. It is those lawyers become wealthier from the cricket board. In the case of rights for broadcasting a large amount of money of the broadcasting of the South African tour goes to an American account. It is in the accounts report. But as the media pinpointed another high dollar value being directed to yet another account ... it stopped. 

The former chairman of the cricket board says in parliament, "This is a cyber attack  ... somebody may have tried it". But this is an instance of misleading. Microsoft company says that this has not been hacked. The same thing is said by a company in this country of Sri Lanka operational system. These hackers are not elsewhere ... in the cricket board itself. Before we catch the rogues .. we catch the leaders of the rogues. 

During the time when we were there ... we got instructions from India, England as to how broadcasting rights should be given; no frauds can take pace and no commiss. In the future we are faced with the twenty - 20 world cup and can't say where we will end up in that tournament. As things are presently moving ... I do not think know where we are going to end up in that tournament. It is a secretary who handles local cricket tournaments. Erasing CCTV data -- there are 32 cameras fixed at Sri Lanka Cricket. But of those, data of six days have been erased. A complaint has been lodged with the criminal investigation department, to look int this matter. But what the incumbent chairman says is that that data has got erased with a 'touch'. He says that an inquiry is not necessary. Security of Sri Lanka Cricket is handled by former air force commander, Mr. Roshan Gunatillaka and was someone who was attached to humanistic operations. But cleaning the cricket board is something more difficult than humanistic operations. So what we ask from him also is not to let these things happen. If this data is erased .. still they can be retraced. Those could be retraced and checked. In the same way ... not everybody at the cricket board is a fraudulent element. There is a set of people who are against corruption and who love the game of cricket. 

We have some news that some voice cuts of match fixing are available with our former minister Ranjan. He is supposed to be having things like match fixing and relevant matters. We make a request ... if possible release those too to the public ... because we too want to battle in this game of cricket. The under 19 group collapsing. The cricket administration suspended funds being released for the cricket foundation ... because there are just only two votes there, no. It is more profitable to get hold of two people in a club and offer a santhosam. Then the votes will be forthcoming. 

I was more at my sports club than at home. But I was not given the vote. I observe ... school cricket has tremendously declined. Former minister of education, Mr. Akila Viraj Kariyawasam prepared a plan by getting together two competent players ...for the purpose of uplifting school cricket. I too indirectly joined in it. 

There are several players in the Bangladesh team playing for the under 19 world cup tournament in progress these days and they could represent the national team today or tomorrow. So is it with India. Today, about 500 schools play cricket. But they are ignored. There are children ... they have no money to buy a pair of shoes. But these people give laptops to ladies who resign from the job. Even Colombo schools are engaged in cricket with great difficulties. Therefore if we do not build up our school foundation ... we can never restore our game of cricket. 

A two-year interim committee. What I say even today is that if cricket is to be brought to its required status ... some good people should be engaged and an interim committee should be established. If not .. cricket in Sri Lanka can never be brought to its required status. We have to face a round where we are to prove that we qualify for the twenty-20 world cup tournament. But it was not proving ourselves in playing such a round that we faced the 1975 world cup. However, we have today fallen into that state. So .. from there onwards it is useless talking about administration.


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