Player agents have only caused severe harm to our cricket – Arjuna

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CID and Tax Department should probe player agents

Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga called for a thorough probe to be carried out on player agents yesterday, calling them probably the worst thing that has happened to the sport in the country.

Sri Lanka Cricket derecognized player agents a fortnight ago, claiming that they were having a detrimental effect on the game, and Ranatunga yesterday said that player agents have only caused severe harm to the game.

Ranatunga, who has been a harsh critic of certain manipulative player agents, yesterday told ‘The Island’ that a probe needs to be conducted regarding the earnings of certain player agents whom he accused of derailing the smooth running of the cricket board in 2008.

“The CID and Tax Department need to step in and probe the earnings of some of these agents and we need to find out whether the country’s economy benefited after allowing these agents to build their business empires in the country,” Ranatunga said.

“During the first three IPLs, when the Indian board directly dealt with player agents, instead of cricket boards, some agents’ commissions amounted to millions of US dollars, but I am not too sure whether the agents played it clean, from thereon. Certain player agents earned more from the IPL than some prominent players,” Ranatunga went onto say.

“The agents played the most significant role in the cancellation of Sri Lanka’s tour of England in 2009, because they were going to be the big losers if the tour was to take place. We had offered the players a portion of the guarantee fee the ECB was paying for coming before the end of the IPL. So the players were being compensated, but not the agents,” Ranatunga explained.

“I can understand if a particular player says that he has benefited immensely from his agent, but the agents haven’t done anything good for the game in the country. Should not the priority be the well being of Sri Lankan cricket rather than the well being of individuals,” Ranatunga questioned.

“When we played, we also had hectic schedules. We in fact were working for firms, as the game wasn’t professional then, but we managed to balance everything. My question is, if you can’t look after yourself, how can you look after a team.”

“Some player agents don’t have any moral values. They only look at earning a commission from the players. These agents have poisoned the minds of some rural cricketers, and you have to fearlessly tackle this well organized outfit which is a curse on our cricket,” Ranatunga went onto say.

Article Courtesy The Island