Ranatunga comes out in Pakistan’s defence, Slams 'shameful' SLC statements

The former captain congratulated Pakistan on the successful tour

Ranatunga comes out in Pakistan’s defence, Slams 'shameful' SLC statements PHOTO: AFP

Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga has come out in Pakistan’s defence with regards to a future Test tour of the country by the Sri Lanka national side while slamming the statements uttered by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials after the Islanders recently concluded limited-overs tour of Pakistan.

Ranatunga, Sri Lanka’s only World Cup winning captain, criticised the recent statements of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials and termed the remarks ‘upsetting’.

“I am sure that the public statements from the Sri Lanka officials must have deeply upset Pakistan. They are striving hard to bring international cricket back to their country. Such statements can never be beneficial,” Ranatunga said when contacted by The Island.

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The former captain congratulated Pakistan on the successful tour and advised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) against taking the SLC statements at face value.

“As a former captain, I must congratulate PCB for the excellent show they put up during our recent visit. All what I can tell the PCB is that don’t take what officials over here say too seriously. Neither do they understand the game nor what security is,” he said.

Ranatunga claimed it was shameful that the SLC did not do more to help Pakistan in their time of need.

“Not many teams toured Sri Lanka in 1980s due to the war. We suffered enough and we know what it means to be deprived of playing cricket at home. We see Pakistan suffering the same fate and we all must try and help them out. It’s a shame that SLC is not doing enough to help PCB. People running the game at present perhaps do not know how much Pakistan helped us during our early days,” he said.

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The former captain claimed that all grievances should be discussed in private during meetings between the officials of the two countries.

"Whatever the disagreements you have, that should have been addressed in private. You shouldn’t be running down another country and that too a friendly nation like Pakistan," he concluded.

Earlier, SLC President Shammi Silva had stated that he was fed up of the security arrangements in Pakistan during the Islanders recently concluded limited-overs series tour against the Men in Green. The series ended when Sri Lanka completing a historic three-nil Twenty20 International (T20I) series whitewash against the number-one ranked Pakistan side.

Silva believed that they would reassess their strategy regarding a future tour featuring Test cricket in Pakistan.

“We have to reassess and see about Test matches. Players had to stay inside their hotel. I was there and though I stayed for 3-4 days, I got fed up (about it). We have to think about that and discuss with the players and support staff. We are playing the Test Championship and we want to do well in that too,” Silva said according to Ceylon Today.