Former World Cup-winning legendary skipper Arjuna Ranatunga has asked Sri Lankan players in IPL to leave the tournament and join the protestors amidst the worsening situation.
Sri Lanka is in the midst of a financial crisis with the foreign exchange severely hit, affecting its capacity to import food and fuel.
“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 said.
“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.
“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 added.
The island nation is in the grip of its worst financial turmoil in seven decades with its citizens dealing with severe shortage of food, fuel and power cuts lasting up to 13 hours resulting in protests which turned violent last week as people clashed with the police.
The economy has been in a free-fall since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting tourism. Media houses are laying off employees which has affected the coverage of IPL itself.