World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga, on Tuesday, urged Sri Lankan players to leave the Indian Premier League (IPL) and speak out about the crisis their country is facing. Several Lankans like Wannindu Hasaranga (RCB), Dushmantha Chameera(LSG) and Bhanuka Rajapaksha (PBKS) are playing in India while the legends Mahela Jayawardene (MI), Kumar Sangakarra (RR) and Lasith Malinga (RR) are coaching.
Sri Lanka, hit by its worst economic crisis, on Tuesday announced debt default. The policy shall be in effect for all international bonds, all bilateral loans excluding swaps between the Central Bank and a foreign central bank, all loans with commercial banks and institutional lenders, the governement said.
People have been protesting against PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, asking them to step down.
Ranatunga, who worked on many posts of Sri Lanka Cricket administration and started his political career in 2005, said that Sri Lankan cricketers should support their country.
“I really don’t know but there are some cricketers who are lavishly playing in the IPL and haven’t spoken about their country. Unfortunately, people are scared to speak against the government. These cricketers are also working for the cricket board under the ministry and they are trying to protect their jobs. But now they have to take a step as some of the young cricketers also came forward and gave statements in support of the protest,” Arjuna Ranatunga told ANI.
He further added that the players ‘should have the guts to come out and speak against it (whatever is wrong), without thinking about your business’.
“People ask me why I am not in the protests. It’s just that I have been into politics for the last 19 years and this is not a political issue. So far, none of the political parties and politicians have got into the protests and that’s the biggest strength of the people of this country,” he added.
The 1996 World Cup winning skipper said that he wants these players to leave their job for a week and come in support of the protests.