Arjuna Ranatunga criticises SLC for hosting second-string Indian team

Former captain Arjuna Ranatunga has slammed Sri Lanka Cricket for agreeing to host a “second-string Indian team” in a white-ball series later this month.

India and Sri Lanka are due to compete in three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals this month. With India’s major stars in England for an upcoming Test series, the team here is being led by opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan and features half a dozen uncapped players.

“This is a second-string Indian team and their coming here is an insult on our cricket. I blame the current administration for agreeing to play with them due to television marketing needs,” Ranatunga, a government minister until two years ago, told reporters at his residence.

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“India sent their best team to England and sent a weaker side to play here. I blame our board for that,” added the legendary batsman who led Sri Lanka to the 1996 World Cup title.

The visiting team has just completed its compulsory quarantine and will play the home team in the first ODI on July 13. India’s National Cricket Academy chief and former captain Rahul Dravid is the head coach for the tour.

Ranatunga also spoke about the current poor run of the Lankan team in the international arena.

Sri Lanka lost its fifth T20 series in a row when it went down 3-0 to England last month. It was also forced to send back three senior players from the ongoing tour of England for breaching bio-bubble protocol.

Ranatunga said the lack of discipline was also the fault of the administration and that when he was at the helm, he did not allow any misconduct.

He demanded the overhaul of the local administration and advocated the appointment of an interim committee to manage SLC. It was only in mid-May that the current SLC administration was elected.

Ranatunga was the head of an interim committee politically appointed in 2007-08.

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