Sports

“Leave IPL For A Week, Support Protests”: Arjuna Ranatunga’s Appeal To Sri Lankan Players

New Delhi: Arjuna Ranatunga, a former cricketer and minister, encouraged all Sri Lankan players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to come and help their country during the prevailing economic crisis on Tuesday. Sri Lanka is in the midst of a severe economic crisis, with food and fuel shortages affecting a substantial portion of the population. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy has been in free fall.

“I really don’t know but there are some cricketers who are lavishly playing in the IPL and haven’t spoken about their country. Unfortunately, people are scared to speak against the government. These cricketers are also working for the cricket board under the ministry and they are trying to protect their jobs. But now they have to take a step as some of the young cricketers also came forward and gave statements in support of the protest,” Arjuna Ranatunga told ANI.

“When something is going wrong, you should have the guts to come out and speak against it, without thinking about your business. People ask me why I am not in the protests. It’s just that I have been into politics for the last 19 years and this is not a political issue. So far, none of the political parties and politicians have got into the protests and that’s the biggest strength of the people of this country,” he added.

Previously, Sri Lankan sportsmen such as Wanindu Hasaranga and Bhanuka Rajapaksa came out in favor of the ongoing anti-economic crisis rallies.

“I am sure you all know who are the players, playing in the IPL. I don’t want to mention but I would want them to leave their job for a week and come in support of the protests,” said the former cricketer.

The economy has been in a free-fall since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting tourism.

Sri Lanka is also facing a foreign exchange shortage, which has affected its capacity to import food and fuel. The shortage of essential goods forced Sri Lanka to seek assistance from friendly countries

The economic condition has sparked widespread protests, with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa being called to quit.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had earlier appealed that people be patient and refrain from taking to the streets in order for the government to settle the problem in a special address to the country on Monday.

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