Sri Lanka cricket runs out of cash, looks for Indian loan: Ranatunga

Feb 1, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s new cricket chief and former captain Arjuna Ranatunga has revealed his board has no money left and is banking on financial support from India to stay afloat. Ten Sports’ 50-million dollar deal ends in 2009 and there were allegations that the previous administration had extended it till 2012 without a proper bidding process. Ranatunga, who was appointed head of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) by the country’s President Mahinda Rajapakse earlier this month, said the board was surviving on bank borrowings.

“There is no money left,” Ranatunga told AFP in an interview this week at the SLC headquarters overlooking the Sinhalese Sports Club in the capital.

“We are now surviving on a six-million dollar bank overdraft. We also plan to ask for a short-term loan from the Indian cricket board to be set off against some of our future tour revenues.”

Allegations of graft and kickbacks have dogged the island’s cricket administration for years and Ranatunga, 44, has asked a team of auditors to investigate the board’s finances.

Sri Lanka’s cricket had not been short of sponsors after the island won its only World Cup under Ranatunga’s captaincy in 1996, but the kit