July 20, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga resigned as junior minister for tourism on Thursday to devote time to the island nation’s cricket administration. Officials said Ranatunga, 42, sent his letter of resignation to President Mahinda Rajapakse giving up his political office to enter Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the main body governing the sport in the country.
“He has sent the letter of resignation to the President and will hold a media conference tomorrow (Friday) to explain his stand,” an official close to Ranatunga said.
Ranatunga on Wednesday slammed the sports ministry for the delay in naming a committee to oversee cricket in the country.
The president last week, on the request of Ranatunga and other former players, ordered that elections to the deeply divided Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) be cancelled.
Rajapaske also asked sports minister Jeevan Kumaratunga to name a panel to replace the SLC’s interim committee and bring in ex-players like Ranatunga to administer the sport.
The sports minister, however, put off appointing a new committee and asked the existing panel under Jayantha Dharmadasa to continue for an indefinite period.