Former Sri Lanka Sports Minister Harin Fernando has retained eminent Lawyer Romesh De Silva service to defend his decision to bar former cricket board president Thilanga Sumathipala from holding any position at Maitland Place, Cricket Age exclusively learns.
In October last year, Sumathipala was banned from the cricket by Harin, based on a report of the International Cricket Council (ICC) that exposed his involvement in betting and gambling. Sumathipala was acting as immediate past President at the SLC at that time.
Against it, Sumathipala has flied a writ at court of appeal, arguing to quash the decision by Fernando to bar him from holding office at cricket board.
“The former Sports Minister has retained country’s top most senior lawyer Mr. Romesh De Silva and is confident that the court will give verdict in his favor, as he has taken a rightful decision, based on the ICC report” a close associate of Harin Fernando told Cricket Age.
In meantime, hearing on Sumathipala’s Writ application has been postponed to 31st March after today’s proceedings.
“Attorney general department’s Deputy Solicitor Mr. Milinda Siriwardena is out of the country. So, the case has been postponed until March 31” Harin’s close associate added further.
Harin Fernando, unarguably the best Sports Minister in Sri Lanka history, single-handedly fought against the Cricket Mafia in the country, garnered the trust and backing of ICC and achieved a historical feat by banning Sumathipala. Moreover, he introduced strict laws against corruption in the game and, for cricket, established an Anti-corruption unit in Colombo. Most Importantly, he played a major role in appointing Dimuth Karunaratne as Sri Lanka ODI captain at the time when team’s performance was going downside. Now, under Dimuth wings, Sri Lanka’s Test and ODI team looks more settled.