‘BCCI is powerful or one person…’: Ranatunga lambasts ‘unprofessional' ICC, tears ACC for IND vs PAK reserve day
Arjuna Ranatunga was the latest noted cricketer to criticise the ACC. He did not even spare the ICC, calling them a "toothless tiger" who is "unprofessional".
The Asian Cricket Council's (ACC) decision to keep a reserve day only for the India vs Pakistan Super 4 match in Asia Cup 2023 apart from the tournament final received a lot of flak from various quarters. The decision turned out to be a crucial one as India won the match by a record margin on the reserve on the reserve day. If it wasn't for a mid-tournament rule change then India and Pakistan would have shared points for that match and because India lost their last Super 4 match to Bangladesh, they would have been knocked out of the tournament instead of Pakistan. Of course, these are all hypothetical scenarios but that's how significant the reserve day was.
Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup-winning captain, Arjuna Ranatunga was the latest noted cricketer to criticise the ACC. The former left-handed batter did not even spare the ICC, calling cricket's governing body a "toothless tiger" who is "unprofessional".
"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 ICC and not by a country. In 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 said changing the rules of a tournament to suit one or two teams would put the game in jeopardy, and slammed ICC and ACC for inaction.
"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.
“Why do the other countries allow that (poor scheduling) to happen? Because the BCCI is powerful, or one particular person is powerful. No, it can't happen like that. They should have given an extra day for all the games if that was the case,” said Ranatunga, without taking names.
‘Won’t be surprised if separate rules are kept for IND vs PAK World Cup match'
Ranatunga said he would not be surprised if the same thing happened during the upcoming ODI World Cup in India, where the big-ticket India vs Pakistan match is set to take place on October 14 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
"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, tie and hanky and going to meetings. ICC will keep their mouth shut and say 'OK, do it'. ICC just talks rubbish, nothing happens," he said.," he added.
The former captain who represented Sri Lanka in 93 Tests and 269 ODIs between 1982 and 2000, slammed the former cricketers for keeping silent.
"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.
There were predictions for rain in Colombo during the Asia Cup, and Ranatunga criticised the ACC for not exploring venues outside the city such as Hambantota to conduct the Super 4 and final matches.
"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.
Catch all the Latest cricket news, and Live score along with India vs South Africa Series and related updates on Hindustan Times Website and APPs