Former Sri Lanka cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga has described the Indian Premier League as a "monster that will go on to destroy international cricket". Ranatunga also said the International Cricket Council (ICC) is a "toothless tiger" and that the world cricket body is currently under the thumb of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
"I fear for the future of Test cricket. Not too long ago we had individuals like Malcolm Speed, Ehsan Mani and Malcolm Grey who stood against India. But the current ICC is weak and they simply give in. The ICC is becoming a toothless tiger. I have seen this IPL and I must say from the first day I didn't like it. We have created a monster that will go on to destroy international cricket," Ranatunga was quoted as saying in The Island.
Sri Lanka's national cricket team, currently touring England, arrived in the UK in four different batches due to their IPL commitments. Some of the team's key players missed a warm-up game. The West Indies, meanwhile, had a weakened side for their Test series against Pakistan due to the IPL that was taking place simultaneously.
The World Cup-winning captain said ICC's priorities should be to look after the well-being of the game rather than dancing to the tunes of BCCI.
"The ICC's job is to protect the game. They don't have to favour anyone. The game has been nurtured by honourable men of the ICC for decades, but at present, ICC looks to be under the thumb of India," he said.
Ranatunga supported former England captain Tony Greig's recent comments that if he had a say in world cricket, he would have prevented India from controlling the ICC."Hats off to Tony. Everyone these days fears India and no one wants to antagonise the BCCI. Tony is spot-on, except for the fact that he has stated Bangladesh and Zimbabwe boards do whatever the Indians want. He should have added Sri Lanka Cricket too. SLC is like a puppet on a string. The job of the ICC is to protect the game rather than any individual country," Ranatunga said.
Several former cricketers have endorsed a window for the IPL so that there are no international commitments during that period. "If we are going into that, what about if other countries also ask for windows."