Why Harin Fernando needs to remove SLC CEO Ashley De Silva as first priority?

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Ever since his appointment as CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC), Ashley De Silva has proved over and again that he is loyal only to Thilanga Sumathipala. Now, as an UNP Sports Minister Harin Fernando has taken over, his first and foremost priority must be to remove Ashley De Silva and bring an unbiased CEO at SLC.

Officially Ashley De Silva is the CEO of SLC. Unofficially, he is a loyal of former SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala, who look after all his interest at board.

Jst few days ago, Ashley De Silva was trying to illegally give extension to all those SLC employees, who belongs to Sumathipala camp. Their contracts are expiring in December 31st and Ashley had wanted to renew before the arrival of a New Sports Minister. Fortunately, when Harin came to know about Ashley’s devil intentions, he immediately took action and ordered him to not to renew any contract without his knowledge and evolution.

The incident was just another proof of how Ashley runs SLC based on the orders given by Punchi Borella! It has become a norm for Ashley to implement all the orders of Sumathipala at SLC.

Earlier this year, Cricket Age had exposed how Ashley De Silva told then chairman of selectors Graeme Labrooy and Under 19 team coach Hashan Tillakaratne to go to Punchi Borella to finalize the squad for the Indian series.

The five luxury vehicles, that SLC top officials got recently, we’re purchased from a showroom of Sumathipala’s relative.

At least three employees of SLC (including two lady employees) comes SLC only for the formality and are fully dedicated to Punchi Borella. Ashley allows them to get salary from the SLC and works for Sumathipala.

And, not only him, Ashley De Silva has made sure that all the employees of SLC keep worship Sumathipala even after his shameful exit from the board on May 31st. Cricket Age reliably learns that former Sports Minister Faizer Mustapha had perfectly decoded Ashley’s loyalty towards Sumathipala. According to sources, Ashley tried to convince other SLC officials to go against Faizer. When Faizer got to know about Ashley’s devil intentions, he asked Dialog for Ashley’s call details. According to sources, the call details revealed that Ashley was talking to Sumathipala 6 to 8 times in a day. Stunned by this, Faizer even issued a notice to Ashley and warned him of the stern action!

The problem is not only that Ashley is loyal to Sumathipala. More seriously, with his loyalty towards Sumathipala, he gives step motherly treatment to administrators of the previous committees. More than half a dozen former administrators have accepted with Cricket Age that Ashley never gave them their due recognition!

And this is the main reason, why Sumathipala always able to maintain his grip at SLC. During his disastrous tenure at SLC, Sumathipala filled the board with his loyals. To make things worse, Ashley De Silva and co. have already extended their contracts by two years.

In return, Sumathipala had also made sure that Ashley De Silva gets certain benefits. During his last week at SLC in May, Sumathipala obliged Ashley and COO Jerome Jayarathne with increments, without following the proper procedure.

However, With Harin Fernando as new Sports Minister, now Sri Lanka Cricket finally can hope for a better future at last. He has already made his plans clear to change the SLC constitution and bring new set of administrators. But, to achieve this, first he needs to clean SLC by removing all those people’s who still worship Sumathipala as their godfather. Along with Jerome Jayarathne, Ashley De Silva Tops that list!


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N Krishnamurthy