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Asia Cup 2018: I have stopped watching cricket - Arjuna Ranatunga

The former World Cup-winning skipper believes that the troubles in Sri Lankan cricket can be fixed and the right mechanism needs to be put in place.

cricket Updated: Sep 26, 2018 14:53 IST
Rex Clementine
Rex Clementine
Hindustan Times, Dubai
asia cup,asia cup 2018,arjuna ranatunga
Sri Lanka lost to Afghanistan in the group stages of the 2018 Asia Cup.(AP)

World Cup-winning former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga said that he is pained by the constant below-par performances that the team has come up with in recent times. Ranatunga believes that the troubles in Sri Lankan cricket can be fixed and the right mechanism needs to be put in place.

“Honestly, I have stopped watching cricket for some time because it hurts to see the team losing so badly,” Ranatunga said.

“It is the Sri Lankan coaches who went to Bangladesh and helped develop their grassroots cricket. Several of our coaches were working with Bangladesh’s age group teams and in the last 10 years they have made good progress. What we Sri Lankans did was hire foreign coaches to develop our cricket. Something went wrong somewhere,” Ranatunga, one-time president of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said.

“We have many good coaches but their services are not recognised and as a result they move overseas. I am also disappointed with the constant chopping and changing they have done in recent times. I was very impressed with Lahiru Thirimanne when I first saw him. He was making good progress but went through a bad patch. When you have identified a talent, you need to back that player without discarding him. That is what Imran Khan did and that is what I did.

“You take the case of Marvan Atapattu. He had such a terrible start managing just one run in his first six innings. Eventually, he went onto score 16 Test hundreds. That is because we backed him to the core, gave him confidence without abandoning him as we had identified his talent. Eventually, he ended up with more Test runs than me.

“It’s not still too late. We can come out from the current predicament if we focus, identify a core group of players and build the team,” Ranatunga added.

(DISCLAIMER: Writer is a senior Sri Lankan cricket journalist and his views are personal)

First Published: Sep 26, 2018 14:47 IST