Sports Ministry eyes on ‘Interim Committee’, ICC warns SLC to Face Consequences if Political Interference Continues!

Written by N Krishnamurthy

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has warned Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to face grave consequences if political interference continues in the functioning of the board, Cricket Age Exclusively learns.

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, it has reached to another level, as Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe has publically stated that he doesn’t know anything about Lanka Premier League (LPL). Interestingly, LPL was launched two years ago, with the blessings of then Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa! Now, after two years, his successor says he is unaware about the league altogether!

All these happenings, twists and dramas surrounding Maitland Place Indicates that the Sports Ministry has firmly decided to desolve Shammi Silva led administration and appoint an interim committee to run the Cricket!

However, if it happens Indeed, Sri Lanka Cricket will be in danger to lose it’s ICC membership. A letter of ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice is under Cricket Age possession, in which he has warned Sri Lanka Cricket to face consequences if political Interference Continues!

“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” the letter, dated November 25, reads.

“It should be made clear that any investigation by the ICC regarding political interference in the functioning of the SLC could result in a range of potential actions being taken against the Cricket Board. This could include a warning, the suspension of ICC membership, disqualification of the National team from ICC events and the withdrawal of financial support (Including distributions). Some of these actions could also see other members being released from their obligation to fulfill FTP commitments with SLC (under the FTP agreement)” the letter reads further.

Interestingly, In last one and half year, the SLC has donated SLR 229 Million to Sports Ministry for various causes. Still Ministry wants to desolve the only organisation in the Island, which is bringing global investors and Dollars to the financially struggling nation! Speculations are rife that Ministry eyes on SLC’s 40 Million Dollars profit!

Nalin Bandara, a MP, is also trying hard to sabotage the LPL. However, he carries hidden agendas. Cricket Age understands that one of his close relative was caught in match fixing during one of the previous LPL edition. Thus, while keeping a grudge against the LPL, he wants to shut down the League, without realizing that it would deprive Sri Lanka from earning foreign currency big time. Not only him, few other Interested parties are misleading LPL/Lanka T10 Investors and at the same time trying to directly get connected with them!

In this critical juncture, it’s time for Country’s President Ranil Wickramasinghe to Intervene. If Board Officials are under radar for wrongdoings, they can be exposed through COPE and punished by putting them behind the bars if found guilty, but its time for President to save from getting banned Sri Lanka’s most cherished game!

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N Krishnamurthy