Sri Lankan Cricket Aid program August 26, 2005

Tillakaratne furious over suspension

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Hashan Tillakaratne feels that he has been unjustly suspended © Getty Images

Hashan Tillakaratne, the former Sri Lankan Test captain, has claimed to have been humiliated after being suspended from his position as executive director of Cricket Aid pending a disciplinary inquiry.

"After sacrificing 18 years of my life for cricket this is the reward I get," said a furious Tillakaratne while addressing the media. According to a letter sent by Upali Seneviratne, acting Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chief executive, Tillakaratne left the island without prior permission between June 13-22 and acted in a manner detrimental to the interests of SLC and the Cricket Aid program with regard to his dealings with Paul Sheldon, Surrey's chief executive, who was responsible for organising a tsunami fund-raising Twenty20 match.

Tillakaratne has denied the charges brought against him and accused the interim committee installed by the government of trying to sabotage the Cricket Aid program begun by Thilanga Sumathipala, former SLC president, which was designed to help tsunami-affected families and orphans around the island. He also accused the interim committee of carrying out a witch hunt on certain employees of the SLC, and claimed that he was now the latest victim.

The program ground to a virtual standstill after the government accused the previous cricket board administration of financial mismanagement, scaring potential investors and freezing the flow of foreign funds into the program.