Arjuna Ranatunga goes to court

Colombo: World Cup winning Sri Lankan captain and former chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee Arjuna Ranatunga on Thursday has challenged in Supreme Court the decision of Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge to have him removed from his post.

Ranatunga, a Member Parliament and prominent figure in the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party government has requested the Court to revoke the decision made by the Sports Minister last December.

Ranatunga has said that he had been removed without calling for explanation and without a basis. He had also said that there had been no opportunity provided for him to clear his name and called the decision obnoxious to the extreme.

The respondents in the case are Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge and Secretary of the Sports Ministry S Liyanagama.

Ranatunga had also alleged that although he was promised there would be no political interference in the cricket administration, the Sports Minister had unduly intervened and given undue directions to SLC during his tenure as Chairman.

Ranatunga has requested the Court to declare the violation of his right to equality and to award US$150,000 as damages.

Ranatunga, who was appointed as the Chairman of the Cricket Interim Committee in January last year, opposed Sri Lanka’s national players participating in the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after arranging a Test series against England next May as the country was starved of Test cricket.

However, the government took the side of the players and allowed them to participate in the IPL.

There are also unconfirmed reports in the local media that Ranatunga was removed on the request of the cash rich Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

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