India and Pakistan cricketers at the Asia Cup 2023© AFP
Slamming the decision to add a reserve day only for the Asia Cup Super Four match between India and Pakistan, former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga on Friday said favouring one team will put cricket in peril. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) move to add a reserve day for the Indo-Pak match in Colombo had raised several eyebrows, despite inclement weather being listed out as the reason. "You take the Asia Cup. You have rules before the tournament, but before that one game (India v Pakistan), they changed the rules. Where is ACC? Where is ICC?," Ranatunga asked during an interaction with select media outlets. Ranatunga said changing 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.
"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.
Ranatunga, using caustic sarcasm, said he would not be surprised if India's World Cup match against Pakistan at Ahmedabad gets a reserve day.
"I won't be surprised if they change the rule before the India-Pakistan game (in World Cup). ICC will keep their mouth shut and say 'OK, do it'. ICC just talks rubbish, nothing happens," 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.
Ranatunga said world cricket should not be governed by one board or individual, and cited the Asia Cup scheduling issue as a case in point.
“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.
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