Ranatunge – Warne Friendly Banter

Retired Sri Lankan cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga hit back at his running adversary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne saying he (Ranatunga) would rather put on weight than take drugs to prove his fitness.
"Arjuna, he's probably slotting himself around at 150 kilos (kilograms, 330 pounds) at the moment, is he? Swallowed a sheep or something like that", Warne was quoted as saying by the international news agency AFP on Saturday.
"If I swallow a lamb or a goat, it is none of his (Warne's) business," Ranatunga was quoted by the AP news agency in reply on the same day.
"But I must tell him that I don't swallow those pills and blame my mother for it," Ranatunga added, making an obvious reference to Warne's positive test for a banned diuretic which resulted in a one year ban for the spinner.
"It is better to swallow a sheep or a goat than swallow what he has been swallowing," Ranatunga was further quoted as saying. "I am fine and fit at 95 kilograms (209 pounds)".
Warne is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on Friday for his first international assignment after being tested positive for the banned substance on January 22 last year.
"I am certainly going to meet him," Ranatunga said and jokingly added: "I may even invite him to attend one of my campaign meetings. Though I know I may risk losing some votes". Ranatunga is contesting for a parliamentary seat at Sri Lanka's general election on April 2.
The verbal tirade between the two however had not stopped Ranatunga from admiring Warne's ability as a player. "I, however, respect Warne as a player. He is great", Ranatunga had admitted. [Daily Mirror]
Written on February 23, 2004