Arjuna Ranatunga © AFP
Arjuna Ranatunga © AFP

Sri Lankan cricket stalwart and minister Arjuna Ranatunga has requested Sri Lankan Cricket lovers to stop behaving like Indian spectators if matches do not end in their favour. This is a harsh criticism for fans in the neighbouring country, who have always loved and supported their Sri Lankan stars. However, Ranatunga’s analysis comes with experience. The 1996 World Cup semi-final, where Sri Lanka were cruising against India, came to an abrupt end due to crowd behaviour at the historic Eden Gardens in Kolkata, and the former were awarded the game. Sri Lanka went on to win the tournament. ALSO READ: Ranatunga: Mathews best Sri Lankan captain after Ranjan Madugalle

Addressing the media, Ranatunga spoke about the Pallekele incident, where spectators had thrown plastic bottles into the ground during the third one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and India on Sunday. “Such incidents should not be repeated. Sri Lankans love cricket and they feel sad when we lose a match. We have made lots of sacrifices for cricket and those sacrifices had been made while loosing lots of things. Every cricketer in out team are mentally depressed. Therefore, I request our cricket lovers not to behave like Indian spectators. We have a very good history and culture. Such misbehaviour is not accepted in our culture and history,” Ranatunga said.

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“Several cricketers had been summoned before the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) and I informed about it to President Maithripala Sirisena who promised to look into the matter”, he said, before adding that an interim committee has been appointed to probe frauds in Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), which Ranatunga claims is run by gamblers, taking another dig at SLC boss Thilanga Sumathipala.