Days After Asia Cup Triumph, Is Sri Lanka Cricket Heading for an ICC ban?

Written by N Krishnamurthy

In one of the most strange move, the Island’s Sports Ministry is trying to bring Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) under Government, Cricket Age exclusively learns.

It has been revealed that at a meeting held at the Sri Lanka Sports Ministry this afternoon, strong efforts had been underway to petition the parliament of Sri Lanka to acquire Sri Lanka Cricket, under a special Act of Parliament.

This move comes, days after Shammi Silva, the SLC President reveled the financial strength of the organisation, and made donations of USD 500,000 toward the Apeksha Cancer Hospital, as well as donations of LKR 2 million each to each player of the Asian Champion Women’s Netball team.

Sri Lanka Cricket, in the last 3 months alone, has donated more than USD 2.5 million toward medical supplies and equipment as the Sri Lankan economy flails drastically in the midst of socio-economic and political upheaval and its people suffer from a soaring cost of living, fuel and cooking gas shortages, and shortages of medicine and medical equipment.

It is learned that although Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe was initially in favour of this proposal, he was accepting of legal opinion from experts and has agreed that this was not a legal, or ethical as Sri Lanka Cricket, although registered as a Sports Association under the Sports Law, is one of only two Sports Federations/Associations in Sri Lanka that are self funded and do not obtain government funding at all. In fact, many of the A grade sports in Sri Lanka are funded by Sri Lanka Cricket through the National Sports Fund, the most recent Sri Lanka Cricket donation to the NSF being LKR 100 million just weeks ago.

Sources at the meeting say that although Minister was of this view, NSC chairman and few other members were adamant that Sri Lanka Cricket should be acquired as a national entity, and is insisting on seeking advise of the Attorney General to do so.

However, according to ICC, if Sri Lanka Cricket is acquired under the Government, they will have no choice to ban SLC as government interference is strongly frowned upon. In fact, it was due to numerous interim committees and the ensuing adminstrative and operational turbulence over years that Sri Lanka Cricket lost ICC funding and was almost banned in 2016.

The drastic effects of this adminitive insecurity have been felt in Sri Lanka Cricket for years.

The negative impact of this calamitous move on the team’s moral, structure and security is also important to consider, when they are finally playing the explosive brand of cricket Sri Lanka is best known for.

About the author

N Krishnamurthy