Island Cricket

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Modi Vs Ranatunga

Lalit Modi's abrasive and confrontational approach is fuel to the fire for a bloke like Arjuna Ranatunga. Recent media reports stated that Lalit modi had withdrawn a lucrative financial deal between IPL and SLC due to comments made by Arjuna Ranatunga. Modi claimed the comments were damaging to the Indian Premier League.

Earlier Modi and Co offered SLC a lucrative package in order to secure the participation of Sri Lanka's top cricketers in the IPL, this subsequently led SLC to postpone a tour of England. Modi then pulled out of the proposed dealing with SLC claiming SLC chairman Ranatunga's comments were hurting the IPL and the BCCI. The BCCI then chose to 'put a hold' on future tours to Sri Lanka scheduled outside of the ICC's future tours programme.

Sri Lanka Cricket gains nothing financially by allowing it's players to take part in the IPL - the cash strapped board regularly sets up tours outside of the ICC's future tours programme in order to fund it's development. As such the last minute tour of England which collided with the second season of IPL was not something that was constructed by Ranatunga due to his disliking for T20 Cricket. It was more a genuine attempt to fund a cricket board running on it's bank over draft.

Ranatunga has been quoted in recent media reports stating that SLC lost 3 Million USD due to the IPL- Clearly he has scant regard for Modi's opinion and he doesn't mind making statements that are detrimental to the IPL.
"The SLC would have got USD 3 million including USD 2 million for TV rights which we have been deprived off as our senior players are contracted to play for the Indian Premier League and our tour to England has been cancelled," Ranatunga told PTI.

He said it was "unfair" the SLC does not gain any money for releasing its players for the IPL even while agents get commissions from the fee paid to players taking part in the BCCI-backed tournament.

"One thing the players should remember is that they are employees of SLC. Every year, we sign about 40 cricketers from the national and 'A' teams. We give them very attractive contracts.

"It is SLC that looks after the players from the junior level and brings them to the level of national cricket by spending a lot of money. SLC should get some money from these cricketers rather than allow them to make payments to some outside agent.

"This way, we will safeguard our cricketers and make use of the money for cricket development," - PTI
Unlike Cricket Australia which bent over backwards to accommodate the BCCI and it's boorish ways Sri Lanka cricket will not. This is a certainty with someone like Ranatunga at the helm - in his playing days and as captain of Sri Lanka Ranatunga always stood firm in what he believed was the best option for Sri Lanka cricket. This time wont be any different.

He has already spoken of doing away with 3rd parties who act as the players Sports Agents. Ranatunga claims the agents stand to gain more by signing the players up for tournaments like the IPL when the SLC looses out. More importantly Ranatunga will have more control over player participation in tournaments like the IPL.
“We are going to help the players by being their agent from next year. At the moment various individuals who have no connection with the development of cricket are lurking in the shadows and grab the players to become their agent. They make a cool ten percent commission by exploiting the player. We are hoping to a put a stop to it” said Ranatunga.

“SLC is bringing the player up to the international level by supporting them from the grassroot level. So, it is only just that SLC should get a commission if there is any. We have planned this as a mode of income generation for the next year” explained Ranatunga.
It is clear that Ranatunga will eventually even the playing field with Lalit Modi and Modi may have to reconsider his stance with SLC if he wishes Sri Lankan participation in the event.

"Ranatunga is totally unjustified in his continuous blasting of IPL," Modi said speaking to Cricinfo earlier today.
"Ranatunga is totally unjustified in his continuous blasting of IPL," Modi told Cricinfo. "At a meeting held in Bangkok a few weeks ago where BCCI officials met the Sri Lankan management - both board and government representatives - the BCCI secretary (N Srinivasan) had clearly pointed out that it had no idea why such hostility exists. We are looking for answers. We hope to find a solution which is beneficial to both boards at the earliest. The officials were also quite perturbed that the situation had escalated to where it is today and were also looking for answers."
Modi and the BCCI seem to have this preconceived notion that Sri Lanka agreed to tour England due to Ranatunga's disliking for the IPL. As I mentioned previously SLC has always planned tours in haste in order to fund it's cricket. Sri Lanka's ODI series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi after a gruelling World Cup 2007 campaign springs to mind. Not to mention the ODI series tour to Netherlands following a long tour of England. Furthermore the SLC has always maintained that it had cleared it's players for the first season of IPL - SLC claims they never authorised a three year contract which the players have subsequently signed into.

This stand off between Modi and Ranatunga may hurt the players income significantly and the players stand to loose out the most. Sri Lanka Cricket's pay package is barely lucrative in this day and age, the players require their agent's assistance to source sponsors and much needed revenue. The IPL has always maintained that it's tournament is no place for retired cricketers for it does not want to be the reason behind a mass exodus with players leaving International cricket for the IPL - so an early retirement is not an option. It will be interesting to see how all this will pan out. One would hope that for the sake of our sport that Modi and the BCCI comes back to the discussion table to bring some life in to their defunct proposal.

By Hilal

Sri Lanka Cricket


Anonymous said...

This whole situation shows that Arjuna is not a good administrator. He should understand that this is not his private fight. He represents Sri Lanka cricket as the chairman SLC and his unthoughtful actions/comments will only makes matters for SLC worse. For example, he critisized the Indian team after there loss in the first test against Sri Lanka saying that they didn´t play well because of IPL. As a cricket administrator of one country one should not critisize other countries affairs openly. That is called diplomacy. On the other hand more than half of the Sri Lankan team also played for IPL. So his critisism is invalid. Furthermore he said that he dont like 20/20 but he want Sri Lankan team to play in Stanford 20/20. Arjuna should understand that when Sri Lanka was so called minnow England only gave us single tests while India gave us full test series. What he should have done is he was a good administrator is to negotiate a better deal for SLC with IPL. Instead of what he do is badmouth 20/20 and IPL.

Anonymous said...

Mr Ranathunga must now realise that he cant force people do his bidding like he used to force new cricketers to carry his box (gear) for him. (Sri Lanka cricket lost few players who would not carry Ranathunga's box). He should learn about Diplomacy, Dialog and Negotiation. If he were to look UP he would see people with these skills who have proven themselves.

shortleg said...

In my opinion Arjuna is a hypocrite.Just after the wc in 1996 Whatmore left the team cause he can't work with Arjuna. It's known fact Arjuna tried to rule him as well. He can't keep his mouth shut and without giving a second thought spell out whatever comes to his mind. How many time he has said that India going to win when SL going to confront with India. When he says like that needless to say players go down mentally.Comparing IPL to instant noodles is also similar to that. He could have use this IPL to secure huge amount of revenue to SLC. Because of his foolish statements we have lost that chance. Now he is talking about fielding our team in the Standford cup next year. If this IPL thing happened in his playing days I am sure he is the first one to go and sign the IPL contracts. Now what has happened to club cricket.? In 2005 he was critical about 14 teams playing in the tier A saying competitiveness going down. Now he is in favor of retaining Baduraeliya saying various silly things like it's a rural club and rural clubs also should be in the tier A to promote cricket to outstation etc. Baduraeliya is a strong enemy of Thilanga's party and it's one of the seven clubs who voted Arjuna when he secured 7 votes in cricket election in 2003. That's why he is reluctance to relegate that club to tier B. Now what has happened to school cricket.? Thilanga's company sign a contract with school cricket association to conduct school tournament. Arjuna has joined hands with Prima to run a seperate competition. How unfair is that.?

Ishan said...

the thing is Hilal..SLC is basically nothing when compared to something like BCCI and Cricket Australia.. we wont go anywhere in cricket if we continue to be against BCCI. everythings almost under them now.. so whether we like or not we ll have to agree to what the BCCI says.. and in this case if Ranathunga didnt take a hasty decision to tour england without anyone else consent none of these problems wouldt have SLC have to take quick action to repair the damages and get back to good terms with BCCI..

Hilal said...

Arjuna willing to meet the Indians head on

Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee Chairman Arjuna Ranatunga says he is ready to bell the cat and settle the current impasse with the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

At the SLC’s last Interim Committee meeting on Tuesday, Ranatunga promised that he was willing to take up the issue with the BCCI and iron-out the differences.

On Thursday, Ranatunga told the SLC monthly media press briefing (held after almost nine months) that he had an excellent relationship with the BCCI officials – President: Shashank Manohar; Secretary: N. Srinivasan, IPL governing council member I.S. Bindra and former BCCI president Sharad Pawar. He said he had had discussions with them during the just concluded ICC meeting.

Earlier Ranatunga stated that Muttiah Muralitharan and Graeme Labrooy had visited India and had brought “a sheet of paper that contained some proposals”.

Subsequently acting on these proposals, the Sports Minister had sent a delegation to Bangkok to meet Indian cricket officials, including an Interim Committee member.

Ranatunga said he had asked the SLC CEO Duleep Mendis to forward him a report on what transpired at the meeting.

At Tuesday’s interim committee meeting, former Sri Lanka opening batsman Sidath Wettimuny, an IC member who was in the high-powered Lankan delegation to Bangkok, apprised the rest of the committee on what transpired at the meeting.

Wettimuny said that Lalit Modi. together with Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah, was very puzzled and shocked by the SLC’s attitude towards BCCI. They had said they had serious concerns with regard to the press statements released by some SLC officials.

Wettimuny said the Indians were very curious to find out the reasons behind the hostile manner in which SLC expressed concerns over BCCI/IPL. The former opening batsman said the Indian officials had told them that they never experienced such an attitude with any previous Sri Lanka cricket governing body. In particular, they were very surprised and concerned about the comments made by SLC Chairman Ranatunga at different forums.

Wettimuny said that BCCI was very disturbed that the proposal they had made to Sri Lanka Cricket in respect of the IPL with much confidentiality was released to the media. They also noted with regret that the SLC Chairman had made a very damaging comment in Dubai stating that BCCI was endeavouring to buy-over Sri Lanka Cricket by their proposals.

Mr. Modi told the Lankan delegation in Bangkok that this offer had been made in an effort to genuinely assist SLC which had a mutual understanding with the BCCI, but after they realised that an individual was trying to take credit for it, they had now decided otherwise.

The Bangkok meeting lasted for about two hours and ended by BCCI saying that the forthcoming Indian tours that have been indicated in the FTP up to 2012 stand unconfirmed at present.
They had said they were not ready for any negotiations or any other compromise with SLC, as long as SLC’s present hostile approach and the attitude towards BCCI remains.

Hilal said...

Anon1> I totally agree with you on the diplomacy part. Cricket has always assumed former players make good administrators and commentators. This thinking is flawed. Sri Lanka Cricket should consider hiring professionals to run their sport, right now anyone can be team manager if they have play some form of cricket and willing to work for next to nothing. This is not the type of mentality one should associate with any hiring process.

Hilal said...

Shortleg> Thanks for the info on Baduraeliya, didn't realise there was so much dirty politics involved. No different to every other aspect of life in lanka, shame.

Hilal said...


Knowing how Ranatunga is, he will not back down from this fight. As you can see he has decided the best route to this is to play tug of war with the player's contracts and to act as their agents instead of being diplomatic with BCCI. That is the man's personality.

Anonymous said...

On one hand Ranathunga has no god given right and cannot be allowed to fuck up SL cricket and on the other we cant chase him away now that BCCI have asked for it. We should appoint a descent professional man to man manage SL cricket and dealings with all other countries and allow Ranathunga to fight with BCCI. When one party had enough we could send a Rajapaksa to sort the problem.

Hilal said...

Let’s get moving SLC

By Sa'adi Thawfeeq


The current impasse created for the inclusion or non-inclusion of Badureliya SC in the Premier cricket tournament is reaching crisis point where Sri Lanka Cricket must take a decision and commence the club matches without any further delay.

After all it is the club that produces the cricketers to the national squad after they finish their careers at school and if this tournament is not forthcoming it would create a huge void which could be detrimental to Sri Lanka’s cricket future. The stepping stone for any budding cricketer from school cricket is club cricket and it has been the benchmark for selection of national teams over the years.

It is a pity that the Sri Lanka Cricket interim committee couldn’t make a final decision on the Badureliya SC issue and it had to go to the level of the Sports Minister and subsequently to the National Sports Council for a final ruling. Whatever the final decision may be the issue has dragged on for far too long that any compromise has to be accepted and the club tournament should be up and running at least by next week because any further delay could cause it to be postponed for lack of time.

This is something that should not happen as a great majority of our cricketers who play club cricket depend heavily on the domestic tournament to find contracts to play in the English leagues where most of them earn their bread and butter. It is based on their domestic performances that these cricketers win league contracts and if they have no performances to show they would eventually be the losers. As pointed out by interim committee chairman Arjuna Ranatunga at a press briefing on Thursday, these England bound players also need to play a minimum of five domestic first-class matches if they are to obtain their UK visas. Taking all this into consideration it is imperative that SLC wastes no time on an issue like the one concerning Badureliya SC but resolve the problem immediately and have the Premier tournaments in motion.

The Badureliya SC issue should have been nipped in the bud and not allowed to drag on for so long. It is wrong on the part of Badureliya SC to cite what happened in another tournament to avoid relegation. If they are to be relegated they should have taken it up as true sportsmen in the best spirit and accepted their fate and, not created such an issue so as to nearly bring the domestic tournament to a standstill inconveniencing all and sundry.

On the other hand SLC is also to be blamed for not being firm in tackling the problem tactfully when the rules were there clearly in black and white for them to implement. Badureliya SC has in fact capitalised on their weakness in handling matters of this nature.
Sad to say once again attempts to bring about a competitive edge to the Premier tournament will suffer for instead of trying to reduce the number of playing clubs in the Premier Tier ‘A’ competition we could see this season an increase due to the Badureliya chaos.

Over the years problems have cropped up in domestic cricket but they have been effectively tackled by successive administrations that were in power during the time and domestic cricket was never made to suffer. It is the cradle of Sri Lanka cricket from which all the national cricketers are unearthed.

Whoever administers cricket must understand that until such time proper infrastructure needs are developed in the provinces one cannot make provincial cricket a reality. Club cricket should therefore continue to be given pride of place. From the time of Gamini Dissanayake, administrators till today have been singing the same old tune that provincial cricket should be our main domestic competition. Well and good. But it first needs to be decentralised so that decisions are not made from Colombo but from the respective provinces. Until such a structure is properly in place let us not talk of provincial cricket, but let club cricket reign supreme.

Hilal said...

anon3> Ha ha! Good one. No professional can ever work at SLC, there will always be 'experts' claiming corruption and over payment. You cant build a successful management team by offering them peanuts. When a competitive remuneration package is offered every says there is corruption or the person is receiving too much. We couldnt manage to hold on to great coaches and support staff because we paid them next to nothing and yet complained it was too much.

Short Backward Square said...

This thing will run and run. This has opened up a right can of worms.

Anonymous said...

I remember a manager/cricket boss by the name of Ana Punchihewa whom I thought had integrity and management skills and did a good service to cricket in SL. Couldn't SL cricket get him or a man like him instead of depending on egoistic, idiots.

Damith S. said...

Are you aware that the IPL is supposed to pay the participating boards a fee for letting their players play in it ?

Apparently SL have not received their money yet.

And Modi has said that the fee's will run into millions.

NO other board has said they dint get their money ? Do you think we were discarded.

I have quite a different view on Ranatunga, Ill put that up here soon.

Hilal said...


Thanks for the info. Yeah Modi was apparently quoted once saying there was a participation fee but now with things as they are, its clear SLC has not received a dime. If they did we wont be in this position.

Anonymous said...

Hilal >
The thing is as far I know there is no legal document signed between SLC and BCCI/IPL regarding paying participation fee to SLC. I absence of such document, SLC to think that they will receive money from BCCI/IPL is stupid.

Anonymous said...

There is a good article written by Mihir Bose of BBC

I hope SLC learn a thing or two from it.

Hilal said...

Modi’s got it ‘wrong’

Press Trust of India
COLOMBO, Nov. 3: Sri Lanka Cricket today rubbished Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi's claim that its chairman Arjuna Ranatunga was aware of Sri Lankan players' contracts with the IPL's next edition when he finalised the now-cancelled tour of England which had been scheduled for the same time.
“Sri Lankan Cricket had got a letter in September last year from team captain Mahela Jayawardene seeking no objection certificates for playing in the inaugural Twenty20 event in 2008 and there was no mention of the cricketers being needed for three years,” SLC sources said. The sources said, in reply, chief executive of SLC, Duleep Mendis, in a letter dated 1 October, 2007 said it had no objection to allowing Jayawardene to play in the inaugural IPL tournament subject to his being available to Sri Lanka Cricket at all times.
A few months ago, SLC Chairman Arjuna Ranatunga wrote to Sri Lankan players asking them to skip the IPL of 2009 as that coincided with the now cancelled tour of England. The players contended they were already committed to playing in the Indian competition.
Ranatunga blamed on the IPL a $3 million loss for SLC - owing to the cancellation of the tour - as the ECB was not prepared for matches against a second string Sri Lankan cricket team.
Ranatunga, in his letter to the top players, asked them to heed SLC's call by playing for the Sri Lankan team in their matches in England in April and May, 2009. “I take it that the (Sri Lankan) players would be prepared to heed the call to perform for their country in preference to the IPL.
At the most, the players concerned would miss a part of the IPL series on account of the tour of England,” Ranatunga said in his letter. The other players contracted to the IPL included Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Chaminda Vaas, Tillekeratene Dilshan, Lasith Malinga, Ferveez Mahroof, Chamara Silva, Dilhara Fernando, Ajantha Mendis and Chamara Kapugedera. BCCI vice president and IPL chief Lalit Modi on Saturday hit back at Ranatunga for his “continuous blasting” of the IPL and said his outbursts were uncalled for.
Modi, however, insisted that the Indian board had the “best of relationships” with SLC and its players. “We are looking for answers. We hope to find a solution which is beneficial to both the boards at the earliest. Officials were also quite perturbed that the situation had escalated to where it was today and were also looking for answers,” Modi told reporters in New Delhi.
Modi alleged that SLC knew the IPL schedule before fixing dates with the ECB. “We prepared our (IPL) schedule in accordance with the FTP, which is prepared years in advance, and we signed the players for a certain term based on that," he said, adding: “The ECB invited Sri Lanka without knowing that the players had already received their NOCs to play for the IPL from the Sri Lankan (cricket) board.”

Hilal said...


Thanks for the Mihir Bose write up. Good read.

Anon> Correct no agreements or contracts were drafted between SLC & IPL.

Ananda from Colombo said...

SLC is there to promote national cricket and to develop the game in Sri Lanka. They have the right to arrange tours outside the FTP. Sri Lankan players should be prepared to participate in them unless there is a justifiable reason. Private cricket contracts are not a justifiable reason. Of course they have the right to focus on private contracts if they leave Sri Lankan cricket. No one can stop that.

Remember how Australian and West Indian players missed the most important last part of the first IPL season, due to their respective national commitments. No one talks of that.

When our players take part in IPL, that is on individual basis, for their private gain. They cannot do it at the expense of national cricket.

Forget Lalit Modi. He is a typical Indian cricket administrator. India is abusing the power they have in the game due to their huge financial contribution. How they handle disciplinary action against their misbehaving players - latest is the case of Ghambir - is typical of how they look at anything. Like a Cricinfo article has highlighted, the role India plays in ICC matters is similar to what the US does with the UN. We cannot give in to bullies like that. This silly attitude of the US made it possible possible for a Black to become President, which of course is something to celebrate. Something similar will happen to end India's dominance.

Saying that we should give into India has shown what kind of national pride that we have.

Indians love India and Sri Lankans love India too !!!

Arujuna is known for his arrogance and may be lack of diplomacy. He is also known to side with certain individuals who in his opinion are the ones who have worked hard for Sri Lankan cricket. While he could be criticised for this, he should be admired for his brave stand for the sake of the development of the game in Sri Lanka. He should be admired for not bowing down to Indian dictates which are totally unfair.

The way it is going, the IPL will take the spice out of international cricket and it is time that everyone understood it. May be the IPL should be replaced by an ICC conducted tournament for representative teams, which would not clash with international cricket. The teams participating could be sponsored just like in the IPL. There chould be something like this, without allowing India or any country for that matter, to ruin the game of cricket.

Wake up Sri Lanka ! You've been eating off the palms of Portugal, Netherlands, Britain and this has not stopped even after independence. This is standing in the way of developing our country.

Before I close, I would like to counter what someone had said here: that Arjuna would have been the first to sign up if there had been a tournament like IPL during his days. If we look back, we see that he did not even take part in advertisements unless they were for a national cause. He did not run behind money. Of course a well known crook engineered a match fixing investigation against him and another great Aravinda. The same crook seems to be throwing money so that all newspapers except The Island keep slamming Arjuna. This is how most things work in Sri Lanka now.

Anonymous said...

Brother Ananda, well said and I agree with most of your opinion. I too have stood like a wall here for AR, cause I like his fighting qualities and bold decision as a leader. I have too argued many times, his intentions are not money. However, to be honest, those days of no ads no money only cricket and Sri lanka are long gone. Today cricket all over the world is a massive cash syndicate and everybody is cashing in, taking a bite for them selves and for a few around them. AR too wants a slice of it, for him for the SLC, its all the same. Who wants to be the chairman of SLC if there is no money in the coffers ? no one probably. Money has to be there and i don't want know how its distributed but its channeled through insiders running things there. I was told, to take the super sopper to Dambulla from Colombo for the Indian rain hit matches the charges were Rs.700,000 one way. Since you seems to keep a track of things, I am sure you know the Indian tour ABC-SLC insurance scandal. An over charge of nearly $.300,000. Minister approved it today after nearly 3 months, maybe the President told him to since the "for the budget" time is on. All are in it for the money and never will a Obama administer cricket any where, let alone India. Players, Administrators, Ministers, Agents, Journalist, Clubs, Coaches, Franchise owners, all... except for the average fan, are in it for the big money moving around. Passion of cricket comes next maybe to all of them too but for us fans, cricket and country first is hows its been always, will always be cause we have no access to the thing beyond that.. $$$ !!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Arjuna, good luck

Anonymous said...


In cricket, there are no friends also no enemies. Please remember that. Eeverybody is doing their job to the best of their ability.

Anonymous said...


Need to calm down in this kind of situation. Your experience and your projection of mind comes with your world cricketing background should definitely help you to handle this dialemma with a minimal damage to SL cricket

Hilal said...

New storm brewing folks. Read this:

Mahela says he didn’t dupe public and government

Ananda> You make some solid points. In the first season of the IPL the Aussies as well as the kiwis missed the latter half of the tournament. Furthermore the release by SLC is under the condition that all players must be available for national duty at any given time.

tanoydutta said...

Lalit Stupid Modi is the cancer of world cricket. BCCI is an autonomous organization. But Those Incompetent money mongers N Srinivashan, Lalit Modi, Shashank Monohar are simply making mockery of This great game.

Just see the reasoning and Language

" Mr Modi and Mr (Niranjan) Shah were very puzzled and shocked at the attitude of Sri Lankan cricket towards the BCCI and had serious concerns with regards to some of the press statements which had been released by some SLC officials," the document stated.

"Further they were very curious to find out the hostile manner in which the SLC mentioned BCCI/IPL"

what is this? who the hell Modi and Niranjan are?

So None can speak against IPL?
Modi and his Thugs are simply misusing the Autonomy of Indian sports federation.

Now I think Indian Govt should run an investigation against those Crony. Being a part
of biggest democratic Country These bunch of criminals are seriously spoiling the relation ship with cricket playing Nations.It seems after some days Stupid Modi will tell," India does not need test status. They will need 20-20 only."

This is the right time for all sports lovers to raise voice against stupid Modi and his thugs.

Anonymous said...

well said tanoydutta!

Anonymous said...

agreed n' appreciated..
v need real cricket as it makes real cricketers..
cuz in the shorter version both physical n' mental forms of a player couldn't be challenged as in the longer format of the game..
itz alwayz nt abt da money itz abt da passion dat v all have towards dz glorious game....
i'm nt rejecting 20/20 format but it dznt make more don bradmons for sure...

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