Mendis leaves as CEO
Dictatorial Nishantha Ranatunga eyes top post



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Former Sri Lanka captain Duleep Mendis, who held the position of CEO at Sri Lanka Cricket for the last six years will leave the job today after a successful time running the sport. Duleep was harshly treated by the current Interim Committee, who virtually sidelined this much respected cricketer due to what could be seen as personal gains and last month the Interim Committee decided that his services were no longer required.


Nishantha Ranatunga, the Secretary of the Cricket Interim Committee, who played a key role in sidelining Mendis is now said to be eyeing the post of CEO of the board.


From total obscurity, Ranatunga rose to be one of the powerful cricket administrators in the country and if someone analyzed the way he operates, it could be clearly seen that he’s building up his own empire that would be rock solid.


Some always suspected that Nishantha Ranatunga eyed the post of CEO at SLC for a while now. In the Sri Lanka Cricketers’ Association when several bankrupt cricketers were taking up positions Ranatunga opted for the post of CEO.


Then he parachuted into the cricket administration and from thereon, manipulated and maneuvered things to oust Mendis from his position.


We would like to point out here that the termination of services of Mendis the CEO and Charith Senanayake, the Marketing Manager, came at the same point. Since, SLC has advertised for the post of Marketing Manger, but hasn’t done so for the post of CEO. We wonder why?


If the argument of SLC is that they have an additional CEO, Ajith Jayasekara and that he would succeed Mendis that’s fine as Jayasekara is an efficient and honourable man. But let SLC give us the assurance that from hereon, it will be Jayasekara who will attend the ICC CEO meetings and not Ranatunga, who had pocketed millions of rupees as revealed by the media over the past months while going on those overseas assignments.


We have heard several stories of Ranatunga’s dictatorial attitudes while running cricket. Only last week he threatened a senior employee of the board that he would sack him when he reports to work on Monday. Someone needs to remind Nishantha Ranatunga that cricket administration is not his family business. He’s just a temporary employee serving in a committee that’s meant to be interim. All the more reason for us to believe that he looks for something beyond interim.


As we have mentioned time and again, the only qualification Nishantha Ranatunga has got to be in cricket governance is that he is supposed to have the right political connections. Apparently some of the moves that he did, like the removal of Mendis, wasn’t even consulted with the Minister of Sports, who not too long ago after calling Ranatunga and co. corrupt, reinstated them in their positions


So we presume that Ranatunga may have political connections beyond the Minister of Sports, but what we can’t fathom is, Ranatunga having sided with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga lead up to the 2005 Presidential Election when he was the Chairman of Rupavahini where he did irreparable damage to President Mahinda Rajapakse’s campaign, how he could end up in the good books of Rajapakses.


We have throughout pointed out that unlike the secretaries of previous Interim Committees like K. Mathivanan, S. Skandakumar, Mohan de Silva and the late Tryphon Mirando, Ranatunga is not a person who championed the cause of club cricket unlike the gentlemen mentioned above. The cricket loving public and the media only knew him as a brother of Arjuna Ranatunga and what damage he has gone onto do to the iconic name of Sri Lankan cricket, who lifted the sport beyond expectations.


Now having got there through the backdoor, we can sense that Nishantha Ranatunga putting all efforts to remain there on a permanent basis.


One of his prime targets has been to remain in the good books of India with whom Sri Lanka previously adopted a no-nonsense approach in cricket related matters. Reports from Zimbabwe where Sri Lanka won a tri-nation series three months back, suggest that one senior player misbehaved and brought the name of the country into disrepute. However, the board didn’t penalize the player. However, when the same player was involved in comparatively a minor offence recently, Ranatunga personally called up the Indian team manager to apologize and the player was handed a hefty fine as well.


Nishantha Ranatunga made no impact as an international cricketer, but in the lucrative field of cricket administration nowadays, he seems to be hell bent on making a big impact.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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