Former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga has made headlines by accusing BCCI Secretary Jay Shah of exerting undue pressure on Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). Ranatunga, a prominent figure in Sri Lankan cricket history, raised concerns about the alleged interference that he believes is negatively impacting the national cricket setup.
Political Connections and Influence: The Jay Shah Factor
“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,” Ranatunga stated during an interaction on Monday.
Ranatunga emphasizes the perceived influence of Jay Shah, attributing it to his father, Amit Shah, who holds the position of India’s home minister. The former captain suggests that this connection gives the BCCI Secretary significant sway over Sri Lankan cricket affairs, raising questions about the autonomy of the cricket board.
Sri Lanka’s cricketing woes extend beyond the accusations leveled by Ranatunga. The national team had a forgettable 2023 World Cup campaign, securing only two victories in nine matches. The dismal batting performance against India, resulting in a 302-run defeat, led to the sacking of the entire cricket board by the country’s sports minister.
ICC Intervention: Suspension Amid Government Interference
The International Cricket Council (ICC) responded to the tumultuous situation in Sri Lankan cricket by suspending Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) due to excessive government interference. The ICC’s decision underscores the challenges faced by Sri Lanka in maintaining the independence of its cricket board.
Ranatunga’s allegations add a layer of complexity to the ongoing discussions about the relationship between cricket boards and political influence, prompting a closer examination of the dynamics affecting Sri Lanka Cricket.