Arjuna Ranatunga

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Arjuna Ranatunga
අර්ජුන රණතුංග

Arjuna Ranatunga.jpg
Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation
Assumed office
20 December 2018
PresidentMaithripala Sirisena
Prime MinisterRanil Wickremesinghe
Preceded byNimal Siripala De Silva
Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development
In office
22 May 2017 – 26 October 2018
PresidentMaithripala Sirisena
Prime MinisterRanil Wickremesinghe
Preceded byChandima Weerakkody
Succeeded byKabir Hashim
Minister of Ports & Shipping
In office
12 January 2015 – 22 May 2017
PresidentMaithripala Sirisena
Prime MinisterRanil Wickremesinghe
Preceded byMahinda Rajapaksa
Succeeded byMahinda Samarasinghe
Deputy Minister of Tourism
In office
PresidentMahinda Rajapaksa
Prime MinisterRatnasiri Wickremanayake
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for Gampaha District
Assumed office
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for Kalutara District
In office
Member of the Sri Lanka Parliament
for Colombo District
In office
President of Sri Lanka Cricket
In office
Personal details
Born (1963-12-01) 1 December 1963 (age 56)
Gampaha, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)
NationalitySri Lankan
Political partyDemocratic National Movement[1][2]
(2015– present)
Sri Lanka Freedom Party
(2001 - 2010, 2015)
Democratic National Alliance
(2010 - 2015)
Other political
United National Front for Good Governance
(2015– present)
United People's Freedom Alliance
People's Alliance
Alma materAnanda College Colombo
OccupationPolitician, Cricketer
Arjuna Ranatunga
Personal information
Height1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
BowlingRight-arm medium
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 9)17–21 February 1982 v England
Last Test6–10 August 2000 v South Africa
ODI debut (cap 24)14 February 1982 v England
Last ODI30 May 1999 v Kenya
Domestic team information
1982–2001Sinhalese Sports Club
Career statistics
Competition Tests ODI
Matches 93 269
Runs scored 5,105 7,456
Batting average 35.69 35.84
100s/50s 4/38 4/49
Top score 135* 131*
Balls bowled 2120 4710
Wickets 16 79
Bowling average 65.00 47.55
5 wickets in innings 0 0
10 wickets in match 0 n/a
Best bowling 2/20 4/14
Catches/stumpings 47/– 63/–
Source: Cricinfo, 8 September 2015

Deshamanya Arjuna Ranatunga (Sinhala: අර්ජුන රණතුංග; Tamil: அர்ஜூணா ரணதுங்க;born 1 December 1963) is a former Sri Lankan cricketer and 1996 Cricket World Cup winning captain for Sri Lanka.[3] He is regarded as the pioneer to lift Sri Lankan cricket from underdog status to one of great forces in cricketing world.[4] After retirement, he worked in many posts of Sri Lanka Cricket administration.[5] By entering his father's stream of politics, Ranatunga started his political career in 2005, and is now the cabinet Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation.[6]

Upon retirement from playing cricket he entered politics, joining the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and entered parliament, from Colombo District, in the 2001 elections.[7] He served a tenure as deputy minister for tourism, and also served as the president of Sri Lanka Cricket until December 2008.[8] He joined the Democratic National Alliance in 2010 and contested the 2010 elections.

Personal life[edit]

Arjuna Ranatunga is the son of Reggie Padmasena Rantunga, the third Governor of Sabaragamuwa, serving between June 2005 and February 2008.[9] He has five siblings; cricketer Sanjeeva Ranatunga, along with Dammika Ranatunga, Nishantha Ranatunga, Prasanna Ranatunga, and Ruwan Ranatunga.[10][11] He was born on 1 December 1963 in Gampaha near Colombo. He has a son Dhyan Ranatunga who is also a cricketer.[12]

Cricket career[edit]


Ranatunga went on to captain the Sri Lanka national cricket team in 1988, taking control of it for the next 11 years, transforming it from a weak, routinely defeated team into a competitive and successful unit. He led the team to win the 1996 World Cup. His innovative captaincy took a Sri Lanka team, given little chance prior to the competition, for cricket's greatest prize. His strategies were commended by many cricketing greats and followed by their teams. He was the brain behind the strategy of scoring as many runs as possible in the first 15 overs of an ODI match in which there are field restrictions. This strategy was still followed by the batsmen in the Powerplays. He was widely recognised as a belligerent leader and was famous for defending his players at all costs regardless of what they did.[13]


Ranatunga lost the national team captaincy in 1999 after Sri Lanka's poor showing at the World Cup in England, although he was chosen as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Year for that year.

In June 2000, Ranatunga played in Sri Lanka's 100th Test match, becoming the only player to represent his country in their first and hundredth Test.[14][15] He retired from playing cricket in 2001.



Ranatunga was known for controversially calling a runner during long innings due to his level of fitness. After the second final of the One Day triangular series in Australia in the 1995/6 season, when the incident with Healy occurred, Ranatunga instructed his players not to shake the Australian players' hands. During this match, Sanath Jayasuriya and Australian paceman Glenn McGrath were also involved in physical jostling; Jayasuriya accused McGrath of racially abusing him, a claim that the bowler denied.[16]

Defence of Muralitharan[edit]

Ranatunga is also remembered for his stand in a One Day International against England. Australian Umpire Ross Emerson called Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing. (Muralitharan was subsequently cleared by bio-mechanical experts hired by the ICC.[17]) Ranatunga exchanged heated words with umpire Emerson and led his team to a point just inside the boundary line, halting play and giving the impression that he was about to forfeit the match, until the Sri Lankan management conferred with him and play resumed. English captain, Alec Stewart, was openly critical of Ranatunga's behaviour. In a comment caught on the stump microphone he was heard to say to Ranatunga "Your conduct today has been appalling for a country's captain". The match was bad-tempered, with instances of shoulder-bumping.[18]

Wrangles with Warne[edit]

There has always been a grudging mutual admiration between Warne and Ranatunga. When the former visited Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami to aid Muralitharan in his "great work"[19] there, he developed an amiable rapport with his long-time foe: "We even wagged," he confirmed later.[19] Not long after, however, Ranatunga was lambasting him in a scathing newspaper attack.

"You can't be mates with everyone," Warne wrote in his 2008 book Shane Warne's Century, serialised by The Times in September, "and if there was any way I could knock him down to number 101[20][page needed] for the purposes of this book, I'd be delighted to do so. But having taken on the task, I want to do it seriously, and the fact is that Ranatunga helped to put Sri Lanka on the cricket map. And you know what? Deep down, I'll quietly admit that I rated him as a cricketer."[19]

Political career[edit]

He entered into politics by joining the Sri Lanka Freedom Party led by Chandrika Kumaratunga, and contested the 2001 parliamentary elections with PA from Colombo District. After the UPFA victory in 2004, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment Promotion.[21] In 2010, Ranatunga left the UPFA and joined the Democratic Party of the DNA led by Sarath Fonseka, and was made the deputy leader of the Democratic Party.[22][23][24] In November 2012, he resigned from the Democratic Party, but continued his affiliation with DNA.[25][26][27][28] He endorsed Maithripala Sirisena in the 2015 Presidential election, and after Sirisena's victory Ranatunga was appointed Minister of Highways, Ports & Shipping.[29][30]

Career highlights[edit]

  • Ranatunga's highest Test batting score of 135 not out was made against Pakistan, Colombo, 1985–1986
  • His best Test bowling effort of 2 for 17 came against New Zealand, Kandy, 1983–1984
  • Ranatunga's captaincy record was as follows: 56 matches, 12 wins, 19 losses, 25 draws.
One-day Internationals
  • He has the record for the most runs scored by any batsman in ODI history at number 5 position (4675 runs) and also the first to score over 4500 ODI runs when batting at no 5 position.[31]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Edirisinghe, Dasun (21 January 2016), "DNM demands vacant UNP seat", The Island (Sri Lanka), retrieved 16 March 2016
  2. ^ Gooneratne, Lankesh (2 February 2016), "Ekanayake scotches rumours", Ceylon Today, archived from the original on 7 June 2020, retrieved 16 March 2016
  3. ^ "Sports". Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  4. ^ "Arjuna versus". Cricket Monthly. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Ranatunga appointed head of Sri Lanka Cricket". Cricinfo. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Where are Herath's team-mates from his 1999 Test debut?". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Ranatunga takes up Sri Lanka post". BBC News. 2 January 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  9. ^ "Sri Lankan Provinces from 1988". Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1989" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Former Lankan minister held in murder case". 3 November 2001. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Arjuna Ranatunga". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  14. ^ Shenton, p.9.
  15. ^ "England give it a go". ESPN Cricinfo. 10 August 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  16. ^ "World Cup final: A history of tension". The Australian. 27 April 2007. Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. Retrieved 2 March 2008.
  17. ^ "ICC biomechanical expert says Murali was right". Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  18. ^ "The ugly face of cricket (24 January 1999)". Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  19. ^ a b c Warne 2008.
  20. ^ The book details Warne's selection of the 100 greatest players of his time. Ranatunga found himself at 93.
  21. ^ "PART I : SECTION (I) — GENERAL Appointments & c., by the President" (PDF). The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Extraordinary. 1339/09. 7 May 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2013.
  22. ^ "Ceylon Today | 'SF, the only person who can rescue the country'". 25 May 2012. Archived from the original on 27 May 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  23. ^ "Arjuna Ranatunga joins Gen Fonseka". Retrieved 16 November 2012.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ "Arjuna, Tiran also to boycott SF rally?". 18 October 2012. Archived from the original on 7 February 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  25. ^ "Ceylon Today | MP Ranatunga resigns from DP". 9 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  26. ^ "Tell Bandula – Glass Box". Archived from the original on 16 April 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  27. ^ "Resignation not valid: SF | Breaking News". 11 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  28. ^ "Arjuna resigns from SF's party". 9 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  29. ^ "I will contest as the Common Candidate - Maithripala Sirisena". Ada Derana. 21 November 2014. Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  30. ^ "PART I : SECTION (I) — GENERAL Appointments & c., by the President" (PDF). The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Extraordinary. 1897/16. 18 January 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 January 2015.
  31. ^ "HowSTAT! ODI Cricket - Most Runs for Each Batting Position". Retrieved 21 February 2017.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ranjan Madugalle
Sri Lankan Test and ODI Captain
1988 -1999
Succeeded by
Sanath Jayasuriya