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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 January 2008, 10:34 GMT
Ranatunga takes up Sri Lanka post
Arjuna Ranatunga.
Ranatunga served briefly on Dharmadasa's interim committee
Sri Lanka's new cricket chief Arjuna Ranatunga has vowed to start with a clean slate and to stamp out corruption within the sport on the island.

An independent audit will scrutinise the accounts of Sri Lanka Cricket before he takes over its finances.

"My hands are clean. I will never try to make money out of the game's administration," said Ranatunga, 44, who is also a government legislator.

The outspoken former skipper also said cricket needed to be professionalised.

The game in Sri Lanka is still based on an amateur system, meaning players cannot earn a living from the game unless they are picked to play for their country.

Ranatunga became a national hero after leading his side to World Cup glory in 1996, when he scored the winning run in the final against Australia.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Oliver Brett

He made his debut in Sri Lanka's inaugural Test at the age of 18, and scored his country's first Test half-century.

A dominant figure in the game, he fiercely defended his players' rights, famously leading his players off the field when Muttiah Muralitharan was called for "chucking" in Australia, also in 1996.

Ranatunga has succeeded Jayantha Dharmadasa. who had headed a politically-appointed "interim committee" of Sri Lanka Cricket since 2005.

Since the late 1990s, Sri Lankan governments have, on at least three occasions, dismissed democratically elected cricket bodies on grounds of financial impropriety and replaced them with interim committees.

Ranatunga has been critical of a system which has allowed businessmen to head the cricket board to the detriment of nurturing grass-roots cricket on the islands.

"I will focus on schools and under-19 cricket," he said, adding that several former Sri Lankan international players would form the nucleus of his administration.

SEE ALSO
Ranatunga 'offered county deal'
26 Jul 06 |  Cricket
Ranatunga leaves Sri Lanka role
24 Dec 05 |  Sri Lanka
Ranatunga abandons cricket exile
13 May 05 |  Sri Lanka


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