Arjuna Ranatunga says he had warned Sri Lankan players about taking part in the IPL © Getty Images
Feb 15, 2014
Arjuna Ranatunga is disappointed at the lack of interest the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises have shown in signing up Sri Lankan cricketers in the just concluded Player Auctions.
Only one Sri Lankan player, Thisara Perera was bought by the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and the former captain feels that they have been handed out a raw deal, reports Mid-Day.
“I am not surprised. He was picked just to show that there was no diktat [not to pick Lankan players]. Do you think a player like Mahela Jayawardene doesn’t fit in to any IPL team? Kumar Sangakkara [(who opted out of the League] and Mahela have won many matches for their teams,” said Ranatunga.
“I had requested Mahela and Kumar not to participate in the IPL long ago. Now, they know why I prevented them,” added Ranatunga who says that he had forbidden the Sri Lankan players from taking part in the IPL.
Though Perera is the only Sri Lankan to have been bought by the bidding francshises, still there is consolation in the fact that Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians) and Muttiah Muralitharan(Royal Challengers Bangalore) were retained by their respective franchises.
Ranatunga feels that the snub over buying Sri Lankan cricketers for the IPL may be because of the country’s negative stance towards the ‘Big Three’ proposal which the International Cricket Council (ICC) has been promoting over the last few months.
“I don’t buy this argument because in the past there have been many instances of players not playing the full tournament,” said Ranatunga when asked about whether the fracnchises were reluctant in buying Sri Lankan players due to their non-availability in terms of other cricketing commitments.
“I am not confident that Sri Lanka will not bow down to pressure ultimately. Now, it’s the age of give and take. Cricket has already taken the backseat,” added Ranatunga about Sri Lanka’s stance towards the ‘Big Three’ proposal.
“I am not in the Sri Lankan cricket board, but I know the people of Sri Lanka are with me. From what is going on in the running of the game, people have realised that I was not wrong. I was against IPL right from Day One. Ultimately, the next generation of players will suffer for playing a lot of T20 cricket,” concluded Ranatunga about his views on the IPL.