“I have one question…”: Arjuna Ranatunga Questioned On Cash Awards For Groundsmen And Players In Asia Cup 2023

The Asia Cup 2023, held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, was hailed as a resounding success, and the credit largely went to the diligent groundsmen who ensured that heavy rainfall did not disrupt the cricket matches. Their unwavering dedication caught the attention of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), which rewarded them with a generous sum of US$50,000 as a token of appreciation.

This commendable act was further amplified when the Player of the Match in the final, Mohammed Siraj, gave his award money to the groundsmen. Siraj’s gesture resonated deeply with fans worldwide, applauding him for his sportsmanship and generosity.

However, not everyone has reacted positively to these developments, with former Sri Lankan cricketer Arjuna Ranatunga expressing his concerns. Ranatunga is perplexed by the ACC’s decision to grant cash rewards to the ground staff, citing past Indian tours to Sri Lanka where similar situations arose, but no such gestures were made.

Ranatunga questioned, “I have one question. There have been many Indian tours of Sri Lanka. Some games were washed out, while some were played due to the dedicated service of the ground staff. But I have never witnessed anyone awarding them cash prizes. I like it very much if the money is given to someone, and not stolen. But then, the Man of the Match too gave his prize money to the staff at the end of the tournament.”

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The former cricketer believes there may be ulterior motives behind these cash awards, especially since even the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has not made similar payments in the past. He has urged the media to investigate the matter further, suggesting there may be more to this situation than meets the eye.

“The groundsmen rendered their services for all these years, but not even the administration of Sri Lanka Cricket has made payments of this nature. These are the facts that media must investigate.”

Ranatunga’s remarks have sparked controversy and raised questions about the transparency and motivations behind such financial gestures. Only time will reveal whether these payments were made with genuine intentions or if there is more to the story than what has been presented.

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