Mohan De Silva and Ravin Wickramaratne, former vice president and assistant secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) respectively, has decided to challenge the appeal committee’s decision that barred them from contesting the upcoming election, Cricket Age reliably learns.
On Friday, just two weeks prior to SLC election, the Appeal Committee delivered a death blow to de Silva and Ravin Wickramaratne by ruling that they are ineligible to contest the 2019 SLC election.
The decision has left the de Silva party, backed by former SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala, with only one candidate in two main positions, where Shammi Silva has listed down his name as both a president and vice presidential candidate at the upcoming SLC election which is due on 21 February.
“Yes, our side have mutually decided to go to the Appeal Court to challenge the decision. We have also called for a press conference tomorrow morning 11 AM regarding the same” a former top official of Sumathipala administration told Cricket Age.
It has also learnt that both Mohan De Silva and Ravin Wickramaratne will file the petition in the appeal court to clear their names and allow them to contest in the election.
It is noteworthy that the decision had been taken, considering an appeal which questions the eligibility of the said duo to contest, as both of them were in the SLC Executive Committee which was dissolved in March 2005 by the then Sports Minister, Jeewan Kumaratunga by issuing a Gazette notification, citing several financial irregularities and appointing an interim committee to the SLC.
The appeal that had been filed was going by section 4A-f or 4A-g of the sports regulations published on 26 October 2016. The Section 4 lists out instances where a candidate is not eligible to contest or hold position in a National Sports Association and
f and g are as follows:
4A-f : “ He has held office in the Committee of a National Association of Sports previously and has been found guilty of a financial misdemeanor, malpractice, corrupt practice, breach of discipline or any such offence by a Committee with competent jurisdiction appointed by such National Association of Sports, after due inquiry and such findings makes him unsuitable to hold office”.
4A-g: “He has been an office bearer of the Committee of any National Association of Sports in respect of which, a notice has been issued under section 32 of the Sports Law for violation of the provisions of the section 32 of the Sports Law.”
SLC has had a bumpy road in the past few years. On one side, the National team’s performance went from bad to worse following defeat after defeat while large financial scams were revealed at SLC including an attempt to embezzle USD 5.5 million via an off shore account which was discovered. The forensic audit into SLC that was ordered by the Minister of Sports Harin Fernando is ongoing.
Match fixing and corruption allegations too were centered on SLC, and the ICC slated Sri Lanka as the most corrupt country when it came to cricket.
The SLC election are scheduled for February 21.