CRICKET BOARD ELECTION (99 Mar 31)
Mr.Thilanga Sumathipala was re-elected as the president of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board on Sunday the 28th amidst violence and thuggery. Mr. Clifford Ratwatte, a brother of Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who challenged Mr. Sumathipala, walked out with his supporters before the elections were conducted accusing that there were outsiders who did not have voting rights. Both sides accused each other of bringing thugs and hooligans into the meeting.
Dooshanaya and Bheeshanaya have entered into the management of cricket. There are big monies involved and now many business people have taken an interest in cricket. However the elections to the cricket board was a home and home match as far as the P.A. was concerned as Mr. Sumathipala was backed by a number of ministers including Mr. S. B. Dissanayake the minister of sports. Mr. Ratwatte had the support of Mr. Sanath Gunatilake the media advisor to the President Ms. Kumaratunga.
At the meeting Mr. Prasanna Ranatunga, a brother of Mr. Arjuna Ranatunga and a former minister of the western province provincial council was elected as a vice president. This is in addition to Mr. Dhammika Ranatunga another brother of the Sri Lankan cricket captain holding the position of the chief executive of the board. Many are of the opinion that Sri Lankan cricket has been Ranatunganised in the recent years. Mr. Arjuna Ranatunga exercises enormous powers and it is said that he is responsible for Mr. Whatmore, who coached the Sri Lankan world cup team in 1996, leaving the country. However much a person may be talented it is not good for him to have too much power and its effect can be seen in the performance of the Sri Lankan team.