Sangakkara takes aim at Nishantha and SLC again
Kumar Sangakkara has once again taken aim at Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, as well as the country's former sports minister, labeling their actions in the approach to the 2013 Champions League "shameful and corrupt" in an email to the board that makes fresh allegations against it.
Sangakkara and Ranatunga had clashed in August that year, when the batsman accused Ranatunga of publically framing his choice of playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad or Kandurata Maroons as a "country versus money issue" when the Champions League was a "franchise-based tournament, where franchises play franchises". At the time, Ranatunga had suggested the IPL players in the Kandurata team would play "for their country" in the Champions League.
Now Sangakkara has alleged that someone within the board withheld communication that he had actually been given written clearance to play for Sunrisers by the national selectors. If Sangakkara had received such clearance, he may have felt less compelled to play for the Kandurata team, as he eventually did. That choice cost him approximately $140,000 from Sunrisers, as per the IPL contract at the time.
Sangakkara, who said he had only recently learned of the board's withholding of his clearance, also slammed former sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, in his email to cricket operations manager Carlton Bernardus.
"All I can deduce is that you and all concerned, including Nishantha Ranatunga and Mahindananda Aluthgamage, tried to intentionally cause me embarrassment and tarnish my reputation in the public arena as part of a shameful and corrupt attempt," he said in an email dated January 21, whose details first appeared in The Island newspaper. "This is reprehensible but not unexpected from characters such as they."
Sangakkara added: "Why did the Secretary try to intentionally and publicly cause embarrassment to me and to unethically put pressure on me by saying I had to choose between money or playing for the country when it came to the Champions League, when no such choice or question arose?"
In a related email earlier in the month, Sangakkara also said Ranatunga and Aluthgamage's actions during the saga had been "reprehensible, biased and shameful".
Clashes between senior cricketers and administrators have been common in recent years. Most recently, both Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene lashed out at Ranatunga and SLC chief executive Ashley de Silva, for the board's handling of news of their retirement from T20 internationals. Sangakkara and Jayawardene have had a frosty relationship with some administrators for several years.
Former sports minister Aluthgamage was replaced earlier this month when Sri Lanka's government changed hands. His passport has since been impounded by authorities while he is being investigated by the Bribery and Corruption commission.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando