Kumar Sangakkara slams former Sports Minister and Cricket Secretary

Sri Lankan star Kumar Sangakkara has reportedly written a strong worded letter to Sri Lanka Cricket (SCL) that singles out SLC Sectretary Nishantha Ranatunga and former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage of trying to tarnish his image and cause him embarrassment.

As reported by Islandcricket.lk, Sangakkara refers to an incident that took place prior to the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) in 2013 when he had to choose to play for the Sri Lankan franchise Kandurata Maroons instead of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) franchise which he was captaining.

There was a conflict between Sangakkara and Ranatunga prior to the tournament, when the cricketer accused Ranatunga of publically framing his choice of playing for SRH or Kandurata as a “country versus money issue” when the CLT20 was a “franchise-based tournament, where franchises play franchises”. He later appeared for the Sri Lankan franchise.

Sangakkara, now alleged that someone within the board withheld communication that he had actually been given written clearance to play for SRH by the national selectors. If Sangakkara had received the clearance, he may have played for Hyderabad instead and that would have saved him close to $140,000 from Sunrisers, as per the IPL contract at the time.

Writing to SLC Director Cricket Operations Carlton Bernardus, the 37-year-old stated in his email, “All I can deduce is that you and all concerned including Nishantha Ranatunga and Mahindananda Aluthgamage tried to intentionally cause me embarrassment and tarnish my reputation in the public arena as part of a shameful and corrupt attempt. This is reprehensible but not unexpected from characters such as they.”

The e-mail dated 21st January also asks some stern questions:

“How did Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga call and address a press conference on the matter to make a statement to the press and tv on the matter?”

“Why did the Secretary try to intentionally and publically cause embarrassment to me and to unethically put pressure on me by saying I had to choose between money or playing for the country when it came to the Champions League when no such choice or question arose.”

“The conduct in this matter of the Secretary of the board Nishantha Ranatunga and the Sports Minister was reprehensible, bias and shameful.”

Sangakkara had a long running battle with the establishment and after his moving speech at Lord’s while delivering the Cowdrey Lecture, where he raised some harsh issues, he won more admirers all around the world, but the country’s Sports Minister wasn’t pleased and wanted the speech probed.

The wicket-keeper is currently in New Zealand taking part in the seven match ODI series against the Kiwis and will be the key most member of the Sri Lankan side in the World Cup starting next month.