Colombo: Reports have emerged that former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga's tenure as Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chief was curtailed due to his opposition to the money-spinning IPL.
'The Island', citing SLC documents, has stated that the World Cup winning skipper was removed "after the BCCI applied pressure on the Sri Lankan government".
According to the report, an English Cricket Board (ECB) proposal to host Sri Lanka for a Test series was being considered by Ranatunga, though the dates were clashing with the 2009 edition of the IPL.
Ranatunga's request for the players to return early from the IPL for the proposed England tour met with resistance, and since there was no softening from either side, the BCCI called for a meeting with a Sri Lankan delegation at Bangkok.
At the meeting, held in October 2008 and attended by former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi, current President N. Srinivasan and the then secretary Niranjan Shah, the SLC delegation was allegedly warned of dire consequences unless they toed the BCCI line.
"The meeting that lasted for approximately two hours ended with the BCCI adopting a very aggressive stance, stating that the forthcoming Indian tours that have been indicated in the FTP up to 2012, stand unconfirmed at present and stated that they are not ready for any negotiations or to compromise with SLC, as long as SLC's present hostile approach," the report stated.
"Mr Modi, together with Mr Srinivasan were very puzzled and shocked at the attitude of SLC towards the BCCI. The BCCI representatives had said that they had never had to contend with such an attitude with any committees which were previously handling the affairs of SLC and in particular, were very surprised and concerned about the comments made by Chairman, Arjuna Ranatunga, at different forums," it added.
Soon after, Ranatunga was fired as head of SLC by the Minister of Sports and has since remained a strong critic of the IPL.