:අර්ජුන රණතුංග) (born 1 December 1963) is a retired Sri Lankan cricketer
and politician. He was the captain of Sri Lankan cricket team
, and led them to an unbeaten title-winning campaign at the 1996 Cricket World Cup
. Ranatunga was the chief of Sri Lanka Cricket
until December 24, 2008.
Ranatunga comes from Gampaha
, a town twenty miles north of Colombo
. He, along with his brothers, studied at Ananda College
Colombo where his mother was a teacher. Arjuna's cricketing career started and was carefully nurtured at school. He played cricket for both the junior and senior teams and captained the Ananda College
senior team for two years.
First-class and Test debuts
A left-handed batsman
and useful right arm medium pace bowler
, he made his first-class
debut in 1981 at the age of eighteen and a year later played in Sri Lanka's inaugural Test
match. He went on to score Sri Lanka's first half century in this game. Also, he is the only player in the history of cricket, who played a country's first test and the 100th test.
Sri Lankan captaincy
Ranatunga went on to captain Sri Lanka in 1988, taking control of the national team for the next 11 years, transforming it from a weak, routinely defeated team into a competitive and successful unit. He was widely recognised as a belligerent leader and was famous for defending his players at all costs regardless of what they did.