Sri Lanka's Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe on Monday claimed that his "life is at risk" for "highlighting corruption" in the country's chaotic cricket administration. If anything happens to him, then President Ranil Wickremesinghe and his chief of staff should be held responsible, he reportedly added.
Addressing Parliament, Ranasinghe said Wickremesinghe is trying to frame him for political vengeance and using false facts related to a vehicle. He accused Wickremesinghe of trying to fix him for exposing corruption in Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and sacking its management.
The minister said a vehicle imported by him was seized by the authorities under the pretext of tax manipulation to frame him on false charges.
"Is this the reward I get for highlighting corruption in cricket? I took action based on audit reports," Ranasinghe said, referring to his move to appoint an interim committee to run the Sri Lankan cricket administration.
"My life is at risk, I may be killed today or tomorrow. If something were to happen to me, the President and his advisor Sagala Ratnayake (Chief of Presidential Staff) should be held responsible, Ranasinghe was quoted as saying by news website newswire.lk.
Earlier this month, Ranasinghe had sacked the SLC management and appointed former World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga as head of a seven-member interim committee to govern the cricket board but the Court of Appeal restored it a day later.
However, the Sri Lankan Parliament unanimously passed a resolution, calling for the sacking of the country's cricket governing body, which amounted to government interference, forcing the ICC to suspend Sri Lanka.
The chaos in Sri Lankan cricket came after the national team's early exit from the ICC World Cup 2023. Sri Lanka, which won the ICC World Cup in 1996, finished ninth out of the ten teams in 2023.
President Wickremesinghe had advised Ranasinghe against appointing an interim committee, warning him of a possible ICC action.
Wickremesinghe has the power to remove Ranasinghe from the Cabinet and appoint a replacement.