Eighteen years after clinching the World Cup, Sri Lanka’s famous Class of ’96 has teamed up under the leadership of Arjuna Ranatunga yet again. Although this time, it’s a rather unique proposition.
Trading their jerseys for suits, Ranatunga and his former teammates have taken a plunge into real estate business, announcing their first venture in Mumbai on Thursday. The debut project will take place in Sri Jayawardanapura, the capital of Colombo.
Apart from Ranatunga, Sanath Jayasuriya, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Chaminda Vaas and Ravindra Pushpakumara were also present at a glittering launch event.
“The land was given to us by the government after we won the 1996 World Cup. After that, the situation in our country hasn’t been ideal but in the last few years things have changed,” Ranatunga said.
Seemingly excited about his new venture, Ranatunga said that the building will be in the shape of a bat with the clubhouse resembling a giant ball. The cricketers are also planning to have a museum — where they intend to keep the World Cup trophy — along with indoor nets inside the complex.
Vaas said all 14 members of that squad have waited a lot for this project to materialise.
“All of us have always been in touch because Sri Lanka is a small country and a lot of us stay in same city. All of us have moved on… some have become umpires, some are into politics while a few like me are into coaching. But this has been our dream project and it’s quite satisfying that we are able to fulfill it,” the former paceman said.
Ranatunga said the profits made out of this venture will be used to provide financial assistance to former Sri Lankan cricketers and will be invested in school cricket.
“All of us thought it is high time to uplift the lifestyle of some of our past cricketers. We hope to do that using this project,” he said.