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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 February, 2004, 09:10 GMT
Ranatunga rebuts Warne jibe
Ranatunga and Warne
The feud between Ranatunga and Warne goes back six years
Arjuna Ranatunga has hit back after Australia's Shane Warne renewed his war of words with Sri Lanka's ex-captain.

Warne, back after a 12-month ban for taking an illegal substance, made a jibe about Ranatunga's weight.

"He's probably slotting himself around at 150 kilos (23st 7lb) at the moment. Swallowed a sheep or something," he told Melbourne's Daily Mirror.

Ranatunga hit back: "It is better to swallow a sheep or a goat than swallow what he has been swallowing."

The verbal feud between the two men goes back to Sri Lanka's ill-tempered tour of Australia in 1998.

If I swallow a lamb or a goat, it is none of his business
Arjuna Ranatunga
The following year Warne received a reprimand from the International Cricket Council after his comments in a newspaper column on the eve of the World Cup.

"Frankly, Sri Lanka - and the game overall - would be better off without him," Warne said then. "I don't like him, and I'm not in a club of one."

Ranatunga, who put himself at a more modest 15st, retired from international cricket in 2000 and won a seat in the Sri Lankan parliament the following year.

He will re-contest his Colombo seat in elections on 2 April.

Warne will arrive in Sri Lanka next week to join the Australia squad for a three-Test series, which begins in Galle on 8 March.

"I am certainly going to meet him," said Ranatunga.

He joked: "I may even invite him to attend one of my campaign meetings. Though I know I may risk losing some votes.

"I, however, respect Warne as a player. He is great."

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