Former Sri Lankan cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga has launched a scathing critique of the International Cricket Council (ICC), labeling it a “toothless tiger.” Ranatunga expressed his frustration with the ICC’s handling of rule changes, particularly in the context of the Asia Cup, and raised concerns about the organization’s ability to protect the integrity of cricket.
Arjuna Ranatunga did not mince words when he referred to the ICC as a “toothless tiger.” He expressed his dismay at the unprofessional conduct of ICC officials, accusing them of prioritizing their interests over the well-being of cricket as a whole. Ranatunga stressed that cricket should be governed by the ICC, not by the interests of a single nation.
“ICC is a toothless tiger. They act very unprofessionally. I think they are the ones who should protect cricket. Ultimately, cricket should be controlled by the ICC and not by a country. In the Asia Cup, you had rules, and you changed rules for one game. So, where is ACC? Where is ICC?” said Ranatunga in a sarcastic tone.
Ranatunga’s criticism stemmed from the controversial decision by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to introduce a reserve day for the Indo-Pak match during the Asia Cup in Colombo, citing inclement weather as the reason. This move raised eyebrows, as it appeared to favor one or two teams, leading to concerns about the integrity of the tournament.
Ranatunga vehemently opposed changing the rules of a competition to accommodate specific teams, warning that such actions could jeopardize the future of the sport.
“So I will not be surprised if, for World Cup, they have a separate rule for Indo-Pak game. This is bad. India is powerful, no doubt, but then ICC officials are quite comfortable, happy putting coat and tie and hanky and going to meetings,” he added.
Ranatunga expressed disappointment with both the ICC and the ACC, accusing them of being more interested in preserving their positions than safeguarding the spirit of cricket. He lamented the lack of action from former cricketers and suggested that financial incentives might be preventing them from speaking out against the controversial decisions.
“I am not very comfortable when you have a tournament where you change rules for one team. You are looking at a disaster in the future,” the World Cup-winning skipper fumed.
In a sarcastic tone, Ranatunga suggested that the ICC might change the rules for the highly anticipated India-Pakistan World Cup match in Ahmedabad. He criticized the ICC for its perceived inability to enforce fair and consistent rules and stated that the organization often fails to take meaningful action.
“I feel very sad for ICC and ACC because they just want to hold the positions. Former cricketers, too, don’t open simply because they need the bucks,” he said.
Ranatunga also questioned the ACC’s decision to host the Asia Cup in Colombo, a location known for its frequent rainfall during the season. He argued that venues like Hambantota, specifically designed to host cricket matches during the rainy season, should have been considered for the Super 4 and final matches. Ranatunga’s criticism pointed to a lack of strategic planning on the part of the ACC.
“I won’t be surprised if they change the rule before the India-Pakistan game (in the World Cup). ICC will keep their mouth shut and say, ‘OK, do it.’ ICC just talks rubbish, nothing happens,” he said.
“Why did they play in Colombo when you have places like Hambantota? That ground was built to play cricket during the rainy season. And you come to Colombo to play in the Asia Cup. What is ACC doing?” said Ranatunga.
Arjuna Ranatunga’s outspoken criticism of the ICC and the ACC highlights ongoing concerns about the transparency, consistency, and integrity of international cricket. His call for greater accountability and fair play underscores the importance of protecting the spirit of the game, ensuring that it is not compromised for the sake of individual interests or financial gains.