Ranatunga misses out on cabinet berth
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 1st February 2007
Sri Lanka's World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has once again
been ignored for a ministerial berth in the first reshuffle of
President Mahinda Rajapakse's government.
The 43-year-old, who led Sri Lanka to World Cup success in 1996, is one
of only four members of the ruling party who were not given portfolios
when the cabinet was enlarged and reshuffled on Sunday.
Ranatunga entered politics in 2001 and made it clear he wanted to be
the sports minister. Instead he was made the deputy minister of
tourism. He resigned the post last year after claiming that the
president had promised him the coveted position as head of the
country's cash-rich cricket governing body, Sri Lanka Cricket.
The authorities denied they had made such an assurance and since then
Ranatunga has remained a backbencher in the government - without a
ministry or a post in the cricket establishment. Ranatunga fell out of
favour with Rajapakse because he was seen as a loyalist of the former
president, with whom Rajapakse crossed swords. The
Ranatunga family has firmly established roots in the ruling Sri Lanka
Freedom Party. His father Reggie, a former senior minister, is now the
governor of a province while one of his brothers is a provincial
Ranatunga declined to comment on the matter. Rajapakse appointed 52
ministers, 33 non-cabinet ministers and 19 deputy ministers on Sunday.