Sri Lanka news January 24, 2009

Ranatunga sues sports minister

Arjuna Ranatunga, the former Sri Lanka captain, has decided to take legal action against the sports minister Gamini Lokuge over his removal as interim Sri Lanka Cricket chairman. Ranatunga had been sacked from his position on December 23, and he has responded by challenging the decision in the Supreme Court. Ranatunga is seeking defamation damages for SLR 15 million (US $131,579).

Ranatunga claimed he had been removed without calling for an explanation and without a basis. "My name has been tarnished ... I want to clear my name," said Ranatunga, maintaining that he was forced to take the decision to court because there was no other option left.

"Arjuna Ranatunga has not been cooperating with the company or the players. We tried to sort it out but could not and he has been removed," Lokuge had said when he took the decision to remove Ranatunga.

Ranatunga has cited Lokuge as the first respondent and secretary to the ministry S Liyanagama as the second respondent. Ranatunga had served as SLC chairman for 11 months.

Having led Sri Lanka to victory in the 1996 World Cup, Ranatunga quit international cricket in 2000 after playing 93 Tests and 269 one-dayers. He then began a career in politics, following in the footsteps of his father.