Ranatunga says he’s determined to help school cricket

Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee Chairman Arjuna Ranatunga said that despite financial hardships faced by the SLC, the governing body is determined to help hundreds of schools who have requested aid to develop cricket.

Addressing a gathering at the opening ceremony of the Ananda College cricket ground, the Old Anandian said nearly 300 schools have requested his help to develop cricket in their schools since he took office in January.

"Nearly 300 schools have requested our support to develop school cricket," Ranatunga said. "When I assumed office all what I was told by President Mahinda Rajapakse was to concentrate on developing cricket at school level. I was also a firm believer of that. But with the huge debts involved in SLC, I am struggling to meet the huge demand for cricket development at school level. Lack of finances have crippled our bid to develop cricket at grass root level," lamented Ranatunga.

"When I took over, SLC had a bank overdraft of six million dollars and we were indebted three million dollars to ICC," said Ranatunga.

However, he said that the SLC has planned to provide all needy schools with cricket equipment by the end of this year and a project has been launched to find sponsors from overseas to help developing schools.

"I firmly believe that nurturing the school structure as the basis to develop cricket at national level. For that purpose we have initiated a program to collect funds from well wishers overseas. That will help us provide cricket gear to needy schools who have requested our help. We are planning to do that by the end of this year," Ranatunga added.

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