Former SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala Likely to be Banned from Cricket

Written by Pushpendra Albe

Thilanga Sumathipala, the former president of Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) is most likely to be banned from the game of bat and ball, Cricket Age exclusively learns.

Sumathipala, the self proclaimed messiah of Sri Lanka Cricket, is currently holding a position as immediate past President at SLC.

Cricket Age understands that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has sent a letter to Sports Ministry, that consists plenty of serious charges against Sumathipala.

“Yes, we have received a letter from the ICC, which contains serious charges. We will forward it for legal proceedings and will act accordingly” a top Sports Ministry official told Cricket Age.

Last month, Sri Lanka Sports Minister Harin Fernando issued a gazette, amending the National Association of Sports Regulations to ensure that anyone–or any member of his immediate family (being a spouse, parent, sibling, son or daughter or son-in-law or daughter-in-law)–who has an interest in “betting, gaming or wagering, or in a betting gaming or wagering organisation or is employed in the day to day operations of such organisation or organizations” is disqualified from holding office.

It is clear the regulation is directed at Sumathipala who has publicly admitted to his family’s involvement in the betting business but managed to hold office given the ambiguity of the previous regulations. But the new law is well in line with the International Cricket Council’s newly amended Code of Ethics which requires its directors to have no connection whatsoever to gaming and betting industries.

This was a death blow to Sumathipala, Who was at one time dreaming to become ICC president.

However, Now not only will the local regulation freeze him completely out of the game, the ICC’s new rules will shut him out of its board meetings even if domestic laws are changed in future.

In addition, ICC didn’t take much time in backing Harin’s gazette notification. Sally Clark, ICC’s senior legal consultant, immediately wrote to the Ministry of Sports referencing the ICC’s Code of Ethics on Relationships with Betting Organisations which states no director should be connected to the betting or gaming industry.

About the author

Pushpendra Albe