IISM welcomed 96’ winning Cricket World Cup Captain Mr. Arjuna Ranatunga

On Friday 29th April, Mr. Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lankan Cricketing Legend visited the International Institute of Sports Management (IISM) campus, Mumbai. It was under Mr. Ranatunga’s captaincy, the Sri Lankan cricketing team won their maiden Cricket World Cup in 1996. The students and the staff members were glad that a World Cup-winning captain graced the institute with his presence.

Mr. Ranatunga debuted with a test match in February 1982 and went on to play with distinction at the highest level for the next 18 years. He was an outstanding batsman and an extraordinary player who always kept the needs of his country and his team members above his own. During his career, Mr. Ranatunga went on to score 5,105 runs in 93 Test matches and 7,456 runs in 269 ODIs.

As a Sri Lankan captain, he infused his players with self-belief and was always at the front to lead the team to victory, on and off the field. After retirement, he worked to ensure the team continued to perform well in all domains, and hence took up numerous posts in the Sri Lanka Cricket Administration. He started his political career in 2005 and since then served as a loving and well-respected politician. He was the former cabinet Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation.

An interaction session was planned between Mr. Ranatunga and the IISM students at the IISM campus. The session started with an introduction of Mr. Ranatunga, followed which, Mr. Ranatunga said a few words about his childhood and his humble background. He said his mother was a teacher, and his father a small businessman and a politician. He has five siblings and he is the second child of the six. He completed his studies from a school where his mother was a teacher.

While reminiscing about his childhood, he mentioned that every child should spend quality time with their parents. He explained how important it is to seek the blessings of their parents and how every student should always touch their parents’ feet before leaving the house. During the talk Mr. Ranatunga shared some anecdotes that explained the importance of parents and how their blessings would be the only thing that would come in handy during tough times.

Later he conveyed a message that you must do everything in your power to be number one. The most important aspect of maintaining the number one position is to always have a clear mindset. You must never perform any actions that will bring you down to number two. He taught us that while working in a team, you must never be distracted by anything and try to keep your problems away by focusing on the work on hand.

Continuing his talk, he mentioned that teamwork is most important, and every team member’s priority should be the success of the team and not individual goals. Individual tasks are important but as a team player, you should never prioritize it over the requirements of the team.

He said that he is very punctual and explained the importance of punctuality. He explained it by giving a live example, where he made a rule during the 1996 World Cup that every player had to return to their respective hotel rooms before 10 PM. There were instances where players did not obey and strict actions were taken against them. The most common action that Mr. Ranatunga had to undertake was suspending players for two or three matches. He was so strict with the rule, that under one circumstance, he had to send one of the players back to Sri Lanka for repeating the same mistake.

While continuing the session he taught another lesson about how not to underestimate your opponent & competitors. If you think you are better than your competitor, then you must always take steps to improve your game, by enhancing your skill. The reason being, the moment your competitor becomes motivated they will do everything in their power to overtake you. You must never give them any chance to overcome you under any circumstances.

Then he continued to answer some questions posed by the IISM students and gave crisp, and elaborate answers to all questions. It was a captivating experience for the students as the session helped them learn crucial lessons in people management. He explained the importance of subjectivity in dealing with people.

The students got to understand these people management lessons which Mr. Ranatunga did in the 90s as the captain of the Sri Lanka cricket team.

The session concluded with Mr. Ranatunga felicitating Ms. Devanshi Mali, for her gold win at the Khelo India University Games 2021, held in Bangalore.

-Blog by Ishaan Ranadive (SYBSM)

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