Sanga questions Nishantha’s integrity

Star batsman alleges he had been harassed


Kumar Sangakkara

by Rex Clementine

Star batsman Kumar Sangakkara in a strong e-mail reply has questioned the integrity of Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga. In a lengthy e-mail, the former captain hits out at the cricket board secretary’s conduct and alleges a plot against him to tarnish his image.

Sanga also goes onto mention that he had been harassed by the cricket board and alleges Nishantha’s hand in it.

"For the record, I would also like to state that I believe that your conduct in this matter both privately and publicly has been reprehensible and not at all befitting the position you hold as Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket," Sangakkara wrote in the e-mail addressed to Nishantha Ranatunga.

"If you do recall I, even after 13 years of contribution on the field for Sri Lanka, was recalled from the practice game against Bangladesh earlier this year like an errant schoolboy who had displeased a teacher. Yet, despite such disrespect and harassment, my commitment to the team and Sri Lanka’s cricket remains undiminished," Sangakkara says reminding the absurd incident where he was told to drive all the way to Matara and the following morning was informed that he was ineligible to take part in the game as the payment issue between the players and the SLC had not been resolved.

Sangakkara’s e-mail came as a response to an earlier e-mail written by Nishantha on the 28th of August to verify and explain matters pertaining to his participation in the Champions League. Sangakkara had been subsequently served an e-mail by SLC President Jayantha Dharmadasa who takes exception to the player’s criticism of the Cricket Board Secretary. Sunday Island is in possession of all three e-mails.

Sangakkara alleges that he had been victimized as Nishantha has a personal agenda against him. "It ultimately leaves me to question whether your interest in this matter is more in line with a personal agenda against me rather than a national interest"

In the e-mail, Sangakkara also raises the authenticity of Sri Lanka Cricket elections over the last two years. There had been instances where individuals who intended to contest Nishantha at the cricket elections had been forced to withdraw paving the way for him to get elected uncontested. There has been also strong suspicion that certain leading individuals of the Sports Ministry had supported Nishantha’s election as the Secretary of the Board by sidelining and silencing rivals as he wasn’t sure of winning the elections in case of someone contesting him.

Tongue in cheek Sanga goes onto call Nishantha the ‘appointed Secretary of the Board’.

"I do not have the luxury of standing for election, but have to prove my worth to selectors day in and day out in order to retain my place in the team," Sanga says writing to Nishantha.

"I believe my commitment to the game and my contribution to it in Sri Lanka both as a player and my work off the field with Sri Lankans in every part of the country each year, more than equals the very noble obligations that you have undertaken and strive to fulfill after being appointed as Secretary of the Board," the e-mail further sates.

(The full texts of the e-mails of Kumar Sangakkara, Jayantha Dharmadasa and Nishantha Ranatunga are reproduced in today’s Sunday Island page 17)

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