Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lanka’s World Cup-winning captain, has been ordered to pay $70,000 in a defamation case stemming from a long-running feud over control of the island nation’s cash-rich cricket board.
Ranatunga has been embroiled in a bitter feud with Thilanga Sumathipala, the four-time president of Sri Lanka Cricket, and the two have frequently traded allegations of graft and match-fixing.
“I wish my mother was still alive to hear the court’s decision. Justice is denied when it is delayed. In any case, better late than never.”
According to a court official, Ranatunga has been ordered to pay a fine of 25 million rupees ($70,000) for her remarks. According to Ranatunga’s spokesperson, the decision will be appealed to a higher court.
Ranatunga led Sri Lanka to World Cup victory in 1996 but stepped down after failing to defend the title in 1999.
Since then, he has fought Sumathipala for control of the cricket board, including an unsuccessful bid in 2019.
Sri Lanka’s national team has been plagued by corruption allegations and infighting over the years.
According to former sports minister Harin Fernando, the International Cricket Council (ICC) considers Sri Lanka to be one of the world’s most corrupt nations under its jurisdiction.
Mahindananda Aluthgamage, one of his predecessors, told parliament last year that match-fixing was common in Sri Lanka.
Ratanunga has previously expressed concerns about the integrity of the Sri Lankan team that lost the 2011 World Cup final to India, but has avoided making direct allegations against players.
He has accused Sumathipala of breaking ICC rules by continuing to hold office despite his family’s ties to the gambling industry, which Sumathipala claims he has no involvement in.
Sumathipala, for his part, has questioned Ranatunga’s behaviour during his team’s failure to defend the World Cup in 1999.