Arjuna vs The Cricketing Mafia

Lets look at some facts

-SLC is running at a 600mil rupee bank over draft

-SLC sets up a potentially money earning series with England and the ECB for May 2009 to help in their financial troubles

-Which clashed with the IPL also set for May 2009, meaning most of the big names from SL would miss the 2nd IPL season

The ‘Players picking IPL over country’ debate begin

-Lalit Modi and BCCI have were going to have none of this and set up a 70mil dollar deal for the SLC, over ten years for letting the SL players take part in the IPL and the Champions League.

-Arjuna meanwhile goes on a trigger happy crusade against the IPL 2020, calling it nothing more than ‘instant noodles’- which we must all agree is one of the best analogies ever made.

-Arjuna then goes on to blame the IPL 2020 for India losing the test series in SL.

BCCI and Lalit Modi start to dislike Arjuna

-ECB’s David Morgan says SLC’s agreement with the BCCI over the 70mil is ‘unacceptable’ stating the ICC reaffirmed that Test Cricket was to be the number 1 priority for the boards.

-Arjuna says the English test series will go ahead.

-And then does the unthinkable and lifts the ban on ICL players playing domestic cricket in SL.

BCCI and Modis dislike Arjuna even more.

-Modi and BCCI say the deal will not go ahead if Arjuna is around.

-Threatens to cut bi-lateral ties with SL.

-Hints it can “buy off” any Sri Lankan player if it wants to.

Dead Lock.

The message is clear. India control the money and they have the power. They are kinda like the mafia of cricket right now. Threatening to bump off or buy off anyone who dares to go against them. Their reach is growing and its all about muscling out who ever they want to, to make as much money as possible.

India’s reputation of threatening to cut ties, boycott series and tours is growing. They exercised this power in Australia- Got their way.

They are doing the same with lowly SLC- surely they will win this time as well.

Arjuna is caught in the middle. He needs to make money for the SLC. Please the ECB, Please the BCCI and the IPL and his players all at the same time. That will never happen.

We argue a lot over the fact that cricket is only about the money these days. In this case- it HAS to be about the money. SLC needs money and its quite obvious that the most amount of money will flow from the IPL and the BCCI at the moment.

When Arjuna came into power I thought it would be a good thing. He always spoke about how the game in SL needs to improve to play with the big teams around the world. He seemed to have a vision.

But somewhere between his triple upsized breakfasts and predicting India will win the 2007 WC, he seems to have lost his mind.

The IPL and the BCCI don’t care about cricket, they care about Break Even points and balance sheets and we are nothing but a small country in Political turmoil and financial crisis. When big brother offers a hand this big I think we ought to take it.

The England series was never in the schedule. Arjuna dug him self a hole by hastily arranging it. And although I was ecstatic that we would tour England again and annoyed that players seemed to be picking the IPL over the country on hindsight you have to try and see the bigger picture.

The big picture is that the IPL will give the SLC more money over a longer period of time than one test series in England ever could. What Arjuna should have done instead of shooting his potty mouth is to have initiated discussions with the BCCI and IPL regarding the participation fees he claims the SLC never got.

And SLC needs money.

Its strange because ONLY the SLC have publicly announced that they did not get any fee. Were the other boards given this money and SLC ignored ?

Arjuna is not a business minded man, he has a big ego and does not enjoy anyone going against him. He is revered in SL cricketing circles because of what he achieved as a player. And he enjoys using that power to get his way to the front of the buffet line- so to speak.

But he is clearly not the man to lead the SLC, he runs his mouth which makes the board and the country look bad.

If I were Arjuna I would step down , because that would be in the interest of cricket in Sri Lanka. It is however unlikely and as long as he heads the board Sri Lankan cricket will be in turmoil in one way or the other.


  1. ©hinaman said:

    I fully support Ranatunga – i believe for “cricket” to survive, we need more such individuals.

    He is proving that teams (boards) can earn enough to survive
    Sri Lanka Cricket set for productive 2008
    without giving in to BCCI bullying – of not having to sell one’s soul for 10 years.

    Only if he had the support of his players, who would give priority to the tour of England over IPL, BCCI would be put in their place.

    Test cricket will only be a priority when the players are honest and sincerely believe so – and not just pay lip service.

    Some players believe they can force the issue by threatening to retire than if not allowed to play in the IPL.

    Nobody is indispensible.
    I would call their bluff and let them go. At the end of the IPL they will become nobodys. Unlike ICL, IPL only wants the “stars” – and they can remain as stars only by continuing to play for their country.

    The world of cricket has gone past the cross-roads.

    October 31, 2008
  2. Damith S. said:

    China> I fully agree with that. I would have loved to have seen the player come out and say- we will go to England. But they never took a firm stance on this.

    Instead Arjuna went on making statement and felt the wrath of 'the mafia'.

    I was really angry at that time. But then I found out that the players have not been paid since february for their international commitments. And also the fact is that the England tour was not in the FTP.

    And your last comment is spot on. Its the international game that made players who they are. Playing for their country is what everyone should strive for and is the ultimate. For you to wash your hands on that is very hypocritical.

    October 31, 2008
  3. Damith S. said:

    Leela> Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    Yes I know that the England tour was not planned but I was saying that the BCCI was being Mafia like when they said "We can get any of the SL players we want to play in the IPL no matter what their commitments are"

    That is proper Vito Corleone'esque

    October 31, 2008
  4. Leela said:

    “We can get any of the SL players we want to play in the IPL no matter what their commitments are”

    -Ooh I missed that. Yes that is very Godfatherish I agree..

    Poaching players from other countries is not done.

    October 31, 2008
  5. Damith S. said:

    Leela> Exactly !

    Sharad= Vito
    Lalit=An uglier version of Micheal

    Who will play Sonny ?

    October 31, 2008
  6. Straight Point said:

    the biggest failure of ranatnga is that he for the whims to satisfy his ego brought slc to the point of no retrn…

    his continuous inflammatory statements without any provocations…

    i can not remember any statement from bcci during that period when he was issuing the statements at the drop of hat…

    so came the eng tour confirmation without it being orginaly in http://FTP...

    the icl ban being lifted…

    and if anybody still beleve that those were cricketing decisions…
    then we all are living in different world…

    October 31, 2008
  7. Q said:

    U make a good point Damith but I tend to agree with China here. Ranatunga needs to stay and maybe the players need to be told that they can go play in India and never look back at SL cricket again. Ranatunga, the one man putting the BCCI in its place, is being asked to step down? why? There shud be more like him

    November 1, 2008
  8. nestaquin said:

    I know I’m in a minority in Oz but I admire Arjuna greatly.

    I think it’s great that he is defying the ICC by lifting bans on the ICL players.

    Free men should be able to ply their trade wherever and whenever they please and those that hinder are nothing but oppressors of freedom and common sense.

    If it wasn’t for Arjuna, Murali would have been rubbed out of the game.

    He is a proud man with big balls and all of Sri Lanka should stand with him and fight the injustice.

    November 2, 2008
  9. Damith S. said:

    SP> exactly, i too believe we need more men like ranatunga, but its very clear that the decisions he made were nothing more than to put one up the bcci's arse rather than some kind of forward thinking by him

    November 2, 2008
  10. Damith S. said:

    g and nesta> i agree with you guys. i am a huge fan of ranatunga, dont get me wrong. but his actions of late have been very damaging to the board back home and our future prospects.

    we not CA to stand firm to somebody as big as the ICC and not worry.

    i think other boards should be supporting arjuna along with the players. thats how you can make mountains move.

    im really torn on this matter but i think what he is doing is more damaging in the long run than putting one over the icc and ipl.

    November 2, 2008
  11. Buzzz said:

    to me Arjuna is useless guy….

    November 4, 2008
  12. scorpicity said:

    Check this out… that will put the facts here in the post along with the other side of the coin for an informed judgment.

    Tunga is only after money… period and his love for test cricket dialogues can be used in a b-grade flick. He refused to get SL to tour Pakistan because of his horrendous fees demand when there is a fixed fee by the ICC which nations follow.

    Instant-noodles was funny… How ironic is it now that he is in talks with the ECB to play next year’s stanford! What the? Once again, ECB’s sum didn’t meet his expectations. If it does, he will.

    And the icing on the cake is demanding money for letting Monty Panesar play in domestic league in SL, which has now been called-off because the ECB refused.

    All in all, SL and WI has aligned with the ECB. The WI board has canceled the proposed Pak tour after their demands for an astronomical 1 million fee was not met.

    Looks like everyone is dealing with millions these days.

    Who is killing test cricket is obvious… only the money.

    November 4, 2008
  13. scorpicity said:

    Specifically on some of the points,

    Sl was in deep red and after the series against India, tunga announced that they are in the green due to the TV rights for the series. Further loans were apparently committed by the BCCI to address their crisis, when Tunga came here a few months back before the series. Players not getting paid is a worry but is short term once the payments from the TV rights deals starts coming in.

    I am disappointed though that those key players whatever may be should have voiced playing for country first.

    Lifting the ban.. alright, it will hurt the BCCI badly and in turn they will protect their interest.

    The buy off threat is still speculation as Tunga mentioned a few days back that he has not received the official report. Meanwhile, the BCCI got a lot of flak over that speculative report in India.

    No board has got money for the IPL, just like no board gets money for letting their players participate in county cricket or the Australian domestic circuit. No worries here.

    In fact this has been the key reason where Tunga’s ego lead to all this fiasco.

    At the end of the day, if the process is to give the BCCI the boot and align with the ECB, Stanfords, then you can only smile when the time comes when the real need comes for support, these posers will be the first to walk away. Remember the world cup!

    November 4, 2008
  14. Damith S. said:

    scorpi> wow, i had no idea he was in talks with the ecb over stanford. what on earth.

    after attacking the ipl and 2020 all these months ? what a hypocrite.

    wrt to monty i think it was the club who was asking for money. i think the club deserved to compensated. but not to the tune of 7500 for am month which was what they were asking. im not sure about ranatungas involvement in that though.

    re: boards getting money for the ipl. modi has specifically said a couple of times that the boards are supposed to get money for letting their players play. i wonder who is telling the truth.

    i agree with you on aligning with the ecb and stanford. stanford is all about the money. he will never deal with arjuna if things get out of hand and walk away. ecb the same.

    india and sl have always had the best of relationships. its no secret that the asian block always stuck together. it seems arjuna is trying to move away from that.

    and that is my pt. as long as we are with india things will be ok. but what arjuna has done has completely damaged this relationship. it may never go back to the way it was.

    November 4, 2008
  15. scorpicity said:

    Yup Damith,

    Tunga let out statement on the same about the Stanford… mentioned that the amount with ECB is the problem… so it’s a strange world.

    That link in the first comment is quite old… February… and how ironical too if you actually read that article! It was at that time Tunga asked the BCCIs help and they did help with that Mendis series and are in the process of continuing the same currently.

    As far as I know, boards were not getting any money for the IPL. If you have read somewhere about that, then I have to check properly. I do know that boards will be getting money for the champions league and future IPLs when they hit profitability in a possible few years. I know for sure that the only non-political reason that the ECB is not allowing their contracted players to participate in the IPL is because they have also asked money in return and a lot more… what that “more is”… still not in the open.

    Thanks for the information on the club at least this aspect is clear, even though it may be a bit silly for the club who gets an International player.

    Both in SL and PAK, there is this growing misconception that the relationship between the BCCI and the other asian boards is that of the master and the slave. Its rather stupid, something which the ECB is feeding on and luring money at the other end.

    It has always been a give and take relationship, which each board taking care of the others backside.

    Look back at the last two decades of cricket in Asia, see all the board political events that have taken place and it all goes to a give and take policy even though we have to admit the BCCI has been dominating on the leadership position, but other than that nothing more.

    If these sister boards are going to hurt the BCCI and then naturally they will protect their interest and not offer what it has received and given all these years.

    The only collective problem with that is the sustainability of all these boards individually which is not possible and if a board does align with the non-asian block, as in the past, when it comes to a real situation of support, they will be the first to run away.

    Cheers dude

    November 5, 2008
  16. Damith S. said:

    scorpi> i swear i saw modi saying the boards get money for releasing players for the ipl but i cant seem to track down the link now.

    ill do some more digging.

    the relationship between the bcci and the other asian boards has always been strong. its no secret that the asian block always stuck together.

    whether this was because of fear of the bcci is not sure, but it is likely.

    its certainly not wise to severe these long ties to side with a board who have been indifferent to us over the last decade or so. we have only been granted proper tours to eng in recent times. they can turn their backs on us whenever they like.

    so arjuna really has to be smart about what he says and does in the coming months. i still think the relationship we shared in the past has some credit left. but not for long.

    November 5, 2008

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