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'Lanka should not win World Cup'

In a surprising move, a Sri Lankan newspaper today urged cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara to not win the World Cup, fearing it would help the controversial interim committee strengthen its position.

cricket Updated: Feb 12, 2011 02:37 IST
PTI
Colombo

In a surprising move, a Sri Lankan newspaper on Friday urged cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara to not win the World Cup, fearing it would help the controversial interim committee strengthen its position.

The privately-run but pro-government 'Island' newspaper said Sangakkara should not win the tournament for the "sake of the country."

"Call me a traitor, a quisling -anything," said the paper's sports writer Russell Palipane.

"I don't want Sri Lanka to be the champions of the cricket World Cup 2011!"

Palipane argued that the current interim committee, which runs the game, will make use of a cup victory to consolidate its hold on office without facing elections.

"Just imagine what will take place if Sri Lanka emerge champs. D S de Silva (the current head of Sri Lanka Cricket) and his cronies who make up the Interim Committee will claim it was their doing."

The writer also took swipes at two other key cricket officials.

"Kumar (Sangakkara) dear, please spare the country. Don't win it, for the majority of this country are nothing but a pack of jokers, like that former Chairman of Selectors (Asantha de Mel), about whom Marvan Attapattu (former skipper) had a few things to say, before he retired from international cricket."

The 'Island' outburst comes amid attempts by Sri Lankan authorities to galvanise support for the national team for the biggest event of the game.

Local radio and television stations have been adopting their own songs and video clips to shore up support for Sri Lanka, which won the trophy in 1996.