The Sri Lankan government has formally conveyed its regret to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah following the recent remarks made by former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga. Sri Lankan Minister Kanchana Wijesekara admitted to their inability to shift blame onto others for their institutional challenges.
Ranatunga’s recent remarks sparked controversy, alleging undue influence from Jay Shah on Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). He stated, “Jay Shah is running Sri Lanka Cricket. SLC is being ruined because of pressure from Jay Shah. One man in India is ruining Sri Lankan cricket. He is only powerful because of his father, who is India’s Home Minister.”
In a parliamentary session on Friday, Ministers Harin Fernando and Kanchana Wijesekara denounced blaming the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) President for their internal struggles. Wijesekara, quoted by Newswire, expressed, “We express our regret to the Asian Cricket Council Chief Jay Shah. It’s misguided to attribute our institutional issues to the ACC Secretary or other nations.”
Tourism Minister Harin Fernando voiced concern over the potential ICC ban on Sri Lanka cricket, especially with the U19 Cricket World Cup scheduled to be hosted in the country in January. He highlighted the economic impact, stating, “If the ICC ban isn’t lifted, Sri Lanka stands to lose from hosting the tournament.”
Sri Lanka’s recent performance in the 2023 World Cup was underwhelming, securing only two wins against the Netherlands and England. The absence of regular captain Dasun Shanaka due to injury impacted their campaign, leading Kusal Mendis to assume leadership.
With Sri Lanka finishing 9th in the tournament, their failure to automatically qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy adds to the nation’s cricketing concerns, amplifying the urgency for internal rectification.