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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Ranatunga to lead Sri Lankan cricket panel

Ranatunga to lead Sri Lankan cricket panel

May 22, 2005 18:50 IST

Sri Lanka's World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has been appointed chairman of a new nine-member cricket committee that includes seven former national team skippers.

Ranatunga succeeds his former team mate Aravinda de Silva, who was vice-president of the previous board that was suspended in March following allegations of financial mismanagement.

De Silva and ex-captain Hashan Tillakaratne, who had close links with the suspended administration, are the only notable absentees from a virtual hall of fame of Sri Lankan cricket.

As well as Ranatunga, the new panel includes Ranjan Madugalle, Duleep Mendis, Bandula Warnapura, Roshan Mahanama, Michael Tissera, Anura Tennekoon, Sidath Wettimuny and Graeme Labrooy.

Their first task will be to discuss the issue of the national side's next coach with Australian Tom Moody a clear favourite for the post after India hired Greg Chappell.

The 39-year-old director of cricket at Worcestershire in England is expected to travel to Colombo next week for an interview with the new government-appointed interim committee headed by Jayantha Dharmadasa.

Ranatunga's panel will make their recommendations to Dharmadasa's committee concerning the coach issue before focusing their attention on development and a review of the game's domestic structure.

Ranatunga's appointment as chairman follows his agreement to represent the island on the International Cricket Council's own committee, ending a self-imposed exile from administrative duties.

After he retired as a player in 2000, Ranatunga took up politics and is now deputy tourism minister.

He previously refused various offers to become part of a cricket board that he has repeatedly accused of being corrupt.

"Sri Lanka is facing a serious cricket crisis and if we don't act soon we will soon be losing to smaller nations like Bangladesh," Ranatunga said recently.

"We urgently need to look into our junior cricket and domestic cricket and start building for the future," he added.

The 41-year-old was widely credited with turning Sri Lanka into an international force during the 1990's in a career that started in 1982 and spanned 93 Tests and 269 one-day matches.

He was captain of the side that won the World Cup in 1996.

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