Sri Lanka Cricket, Political Interference and Franchise leagues Sabotage Attempts!

Written by N Krishnamurthy

The ever growing political interference in the functioning of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has been one of the most talked about topic in Island’s Cricket Corridors these days! The tussle started between the Sports Ministry and SLC during Asia Cup, where the Cricket Board was a hosting nation of the tournament in UAE. As a host, SLC thought it’s their right to send board officials to oversee the tournament! However, Sports Ministry thought otherwise.

Now, this tussle has reached to another level! Arjuna Ranatunga, former World Cup winning captain and current National Sports Council Chairman, revealed that the Cricket Board Selection Committee, led by Pramodaya Wikramasinghe, has not been approved by the National Selection Committee.

“The current SLC selection committee was never approved by the National Selection Committee. It was approved by the Sports Ministry under the former Minister” Ranatunga stated during a press conference at Sports Council earlier this week.

Issue is that, In no other Cricket playing country, Selection Committee is appointed by a political outfit! All powerful BCCI, ECB and Cricket Australia (CA) appoints their committee’s on their own! In Sri Lanka, a national Selection Committee appoints Cricket Selection Committee!

In all other countries, Cricket Selection Committees selects the squads. In Sri Lanka, Sports Minister ractifies the squad, once selected by the Cricket Selection Committee.

And, this could turn disaster for Sri Lanka Cricket, as International Cricket Council (ICC), game’s global governing body, has always made it loud and clear that Sport must be free of political interference.

“Manage it’s affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government (or other public or quasi-public body) interference in its governance, regulation and/or administration of cricket in its cricket playing country (Including in operational matters, in the selection and management of teams, and in the appointment of coaches or support personnel” ICC guidelines clearly warns against any kind of political interference.

Thus, if political interference continues to dominate Sri Lanka Cricket, then there could be grave consequences! The ICC will have no hesitation in completely banning Sri Lanka Cricket, like it was done to Zimbabwe couple of years back.

If it happens, it will be a disaster, not only for Sri Lanka Cricket, but for the entire country! As a nation, Sri Lanka is globally recognized only because of Cricket! At a time, when country is officially bankrupt, the Dollars are coming only through Cricket! Franchise leagues like Lanka Premier League (LPL) and Lanka T10 are bound to attract global investors, which is the need of hour for Sri Lanka.

Interested parties, however, are desperately trying to sabotage these leagues as well. Cricket Age understands that an Influential person has told Investors to not buying teams in these leagues, stating it won’t happen!

Interestingly, In last two years, during a global Pandemic, SLC donated millions of Dollars not only to help other sports, but for the National cause also. However, Instead of recognizing it, the political messiahs are trying to ruin that game, which has become the pride of Sri Lanka as a nation at global level!

About the author

N Krishnamurthy