The visit of Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa to Dubai has intensified Interim Committee rumors at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) ahead of the forthcoming election.
The next Annual General Meeting (AGM) to choose office bearers for next two years to run the cricket in the Island is scheduled for May 20. While incumbent president Shammi Silva has fielded almost the same team, prestigious Colts Cricket Club stalwarts Nishantha Ranatunga and K. Mathivanan have teamed up once again.
However, as Cricket Age had published on March 6, the objections filled by Nishantha challenging the validity of Shammi Silva led administration has given a new twist to the Maitland Place battle.
As International Cricket Council (ICC) headquarter is based in Dubai, the Sri Lanka cricket fraternity is ablaze with rumors that Namal has flee to capital of the Emirate to meet top officials of the world governing body.
Though, when Cricket Age inquired with Sports Ministry, officially it was told that Namal has gone for a private visit.
“He is on a private visit. We are not aware whether he is scheduled to meet ICC officials or not” a top Sports Ministry official told Cricket Age.
In another significant development, the Sports Ministry has already sought legal advice from the Attorney General’s Department after Colts petitioners Nishantha and Secretary Maj. Gen. Shiran Abeysekera challenged the legality of the SLC Executive Committee headed by Shammi Silva.
Quoting the SLC constitution, which states that the “Office Bearers shall hold office for a period not exceeding two (2) years”, the petitioner states that the current office-bearers are not legally entitled to hold office or exercise the powers of the office anymore as their two-year term has lapsed.
“…and the said Office Bearers continuing to hold office and exercise the powers of the office are blatantly ultra vires, wrongful illegal, unlawful and has no avail in law,” the petitioners state.
SLC held its last election on February 21, 2019 to pick office-bearers for a two-year term as specified in the section 7(2)(b) of the constitution. Now that the term has lapsed, the incumbent office-bearers have no legal right to stay on.
The Shammi Silva administration, meanwhile, has rejected all the validity claims, by stating that the right procedure was followed.
“We were appointed on the 21st of February 2019 and by the 21st of February this year, our term has to be over. But the finances have to be made up to the 28th (of February). Now if, say we started the election process by last November and a new ex-co is appointed before February 21, will the new committee have to sign our accounts?” a top SLC official told Cricket Age.
“In this scenario, I think what the Honorable Sports Minister can do is to extend the term of the existing office-bearers until May,” he added.