Ranatunga, a highly respected figure in his country and a sporting icon for the young, requested the players to return to Sri Lanka t least for a week to join the protesters
A record number of Sri Lanka's present and past cricketers who are participating as players in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) have been targeted by Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga who has said that these players should "leave their job for a week and come in support of the protests" happening on the streets of Sri Lanka's against the country's government and the economic crisis it has created for the nation and its people.
He said these players have not spoken about their country and instead were "lavishly playing" in the IPL, the world's most lucrative cricket league.
"I really don't know but there are some cricketers who are lavishly playing in the IPL and haven't spoken about their country. Unfortunately, people are scared to speak against the government. These cricketers are also working for the cricket board under the ministry and they are trying to protect their jobs. But now they have to take a step as some of the young cricketers also came forward and gave statements in support of the protest," Arjuna Ranatunga was quoted as telling India's ANI news agency.
"When something is going wrong, you should have the guts to come out and speak against it, without thinking about your business. People ask me why I am not in the protests. It's just that I have been into politics for the last 19 years and this is not a political issue. So far, none of the political parties and politicians have got into the protests and that's the biggest strength of the people of this country," he added.
Ranatunga, a highly respected figure in his country and a sporting icon for the young, requested the players to return to Sri Lanka t least for a week to join the protesters.
"I am sure you all know who are the players, playing in the IPL. I don't want to mention but I would want them to leave their job for a week and come in support of the protests," he stated.
Wanindu Hasaranga (RCB), Bhanuka Rajapaksa (PBKS), Maheesh Theekshana (CSK), Dushmantha Chameera (LSG), Chamika Karunaratne (KKR) are some of the prominent Sri Lanka internationals playing in IPL 2022. Hasaranga and Rajapaksa have voiced their opinions on social media on the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka.
Besides the players, there are also ex-players like Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Lasith Malinga who are there as coaches for Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals. Jayawardene and Sangakarra have also gone on Twitter in support of the problems the people were facing because of the current crisis that has resulted in shortages of food, energy and medicines, and resulted in long queues and fights before stores and petrol stations.