Former World Cup winning captain Arjun Ranathunga raised slogans against Sri Lankan cricket on Wednesday, accusing him of hiring foreign coaches while ignoring local talent. Sri Lanka won the World Cup once in 1996 – and were runners-up to Australia, Australia and India in 2007 and 2011 respectively. In the most recent tournament of 2019, he did not make it out of the group stage. Ranatunga said, “We spend heavily on importing garbage cans. This is to say that foreign imports are partly responsible for the national team’s low ranking in all formats of the game.”
“The country has good (coaching) talent, but they are going abroad because they have no identity at home.”
Ranatunga said former national players such as his 1996 vice-captain Arvinda de Silva, as well as Mahela Jayawardene and Marwan Attapattu, were among the best batting coaches in the world.
While the 57-year-old has not named a foreign coach, the team is currently coached by Mickey Arthur of South Africa.
Ranatunga celebrated the silver jubilee of the 1996 victory at a national event organized by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Last year’s board of directors appointed former Australian player Tom Moody, who coached Sri Lanka from 2005 to 2007 as an advisor to revive the game and rebuild the national team.
Other former foreign coaches included Bruce Yardley, John Dyson, Paul Frabras, Graham Ford and Geoff Marsh.
The 1996 World Cup winning coach was Sri Lanka’s Australian Dave Whitmore.
Former National Test star Chandika Hathurusingha coached Sri Lanka from 2018 to 2019, but was sacked after the team’s disappointing World Cup exit that year.
He was previously a coach in Bangladesh and is currently an assistant coach for the state side New South Wales in Australia.
Ranatunga said that the increasing scrutiny of cricket corruption in Sri Lanka in recent years has portrayed his country in a negative light.
In 2019, the then Sports Minister Harin Fernando introduced an anti-corruption law after the International Cricket Council declared Sri Lanka the most corrupt cricketing nation.
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