People will call Dayasiri ‘Bookie-siri’ in future – Arjuna
The present govt. destroyed our cricket. For that the person named Dayasiri (Jayasekara) is responsible. He is the one who brought book-makers into our cricket. What Dayasiri is talking today is the ideas of (Thilanga) Sumathipala. Therefore people will call Dayasiri, ‘Bookie-siri’ in future. You won’t be able to stop that happening. This was said by former Sri Lanka skipper and incumbent Petroleum Resources Development Minister Arjuna Ranatunga.
He said so answering questions from the media on the current predicament of Sri Lanka cricket at a community event held at Siri Sumanarama Temple at Katunayake.
He further said despite the Sport Minister of the previous govt. had major shortcomings, he (Mahindananda Aluthgamage) didn’t allow bookmakers to enter into cricket administration.
“But what Sport Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara did was to unlawfully allow bookmakers and gamblers to enter local cricket administration. Those bookmakers are now ruining the sport.”
Former World Cup winning captain further said:
I previously said we were going to lose to Bangladesh. It happened. Then six, eight months ago I said we were going to lose against Afghanistan. That too happened. Our cricket has gone to such low level. But our cricket is not completely destroyed. These players can still be resurrected.
I still say we should amend the constitution and hold elections into Sri Lanka Cricket. Until then an interim committee should be appointed. If that cannot happen, the game should be run by people such as Sidath Wettimuny, Mahela, Sangakkara, Murali etc. The present Sports Minister (Faiszer Mustapha) also should take responsibility for this downfall.
I think the worst thing happened during the Yahapalana govt. is the destruction of cricket. I doubt the next World Cup will be easy for us. We can’t put the entire blame on the captain. The selectors also should take the responsibility for the defeat. So is the cricket administration.
We conducted a domestic tournament in the T20 format before the Asia Cup which was held in the 50-over format. We lacked in proper vision. What our administrators did was to pool money among the clubs.
Both the President and the Prime Minister have to look into this situation soon. Otherwise the people will teach us a good lesson in the next elections.
(Courtesy Thamira Manju, Petroleum Resources Development Ministry Media)