Arjuna Ranatunga during an interview with Gulf News at Shyam Bhatia cricket museum in Dubai. Ranatunga, known for his ability to inspire his players as well as his frank views on the game, is today a politician. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Arjuna Ranatunga has the record for the most number of runs scored by any batsman in ODI history at No. 5 and he showed just why during Sri Lanka’s victorious 1997 Asia Cup.

Ranatunga, who has been credited for propelling Sri Lanka into the upper echelons of the sport though his maverick batting style and level-headed captaincy, amassed 272 runs in four matches, including a 131 off 152 balls in the first of his team’s two dominant victories over India.

Nicknamed Captain Cool for his ability to remain calm and focused, Ranatunga would then score a significant 51-ball half century as Sri Lanka walloped Bangladesh by 103 runs and then hit an unbeaten 62 in the final against India, which the islanders comfortably won by eight wickets.

Ranatunga was rewarded for his consistency and productivity with the coveted Man of the Series Award.

In addition Sri Lanka, who collected their second of five Asia Cups, was ending India’s three consecutive championships.

After retirement, Ranatunga worked in many roles as a Sri Lanka Cricket administrator before he entered politics, joining the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and parliament from Colombo District.

He also served as deputy minister for tourism and President of Sri Lanka Cricket until December 2008.

He joined the Democratic National Alliance in 2010 and contested the 2010 elections. He is currently the cabinet minister of Ports & Shipping.