National Audit Officers Visit Sri Lanka Cricket!

Written by N Krishnamurthy

To conduct a comprehensive audit on the findings of the six member committee that investigated the alleged misconduct by the players, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials and associates during the last T20 World Cup in Australia in November, a team of National Audit Office Monday visited Board’s headquarter at Maitland Place, Cricket Age exclusively learns.

The audit team invaded SLC to conduct a comprehensive audit on Board’s world cup expenditure on Country’s Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe’s request, before taking legal action.

Earlier this year, a 6-members committee found enough ground to dissolve the SLC. A recommendation was made in the 63-page report to the Minister of Sports to exercise his powers under the Sports Law and regulations to suspend or cancel SLC’s affiliation with the Ministry.

According to the report, SLC has spent over Rs.65 million to send 16 administrators–which included two paid employees and 14 Executive Committee members–on a joyride to watch the T20 World Cup despite instructions from the Sports Ministry to minimise costs. Although their travel is now being questioned, the Ministry had approved it.Among those who went are President Shammi Silva, Secretary Mohan de Silva, Vice Presidents Jayantha Dharmadasa and Raveen Wickremaratne, Treasurer Lasantha Wickremasinghe, CEO Ashley de Silva, COO Jerome Jayaratne and Executive Committee members Sujeewa Godaliyadda (Asst Treasurer), Crishantha Kapuwatte (Assistant Secretary) Janaka Pathirana, Thilak Wathtuhewa, Samantha Dodanwela, Priyantha Algama, Bandula Dissanayake, Rear Admiral Nishantha de Silva and Nalin Aponsu.

However, the report was challenged in courts. SLC President Shammi Silva and Secretary Mohan de Silva filed a writ application in the Court of Appeal to quash the report.

In response, Sports Minister Ranasinghe told the Court of Appeal on February 3rd that he would not take any action on SLC, until a formal audit on the issues raised by 6-members committee.

A suspension of its membership by the Ministry may lead to other complications. On November 25, 2022, ICC’s Chief Executive Geoff Allardice, in an email to SLC President Shammi Silva, said that any governmental interference in its governance could lead to potential suspension of ICC membership, disqualification of the national team from ICC events, and the withdrawal of financial support.

“It should be made clear to all concerned that any investigation by the ICC could result in a range of potential actions being taken by the ICC against SLC. These 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 obligations to fulfill FTP (Future Tour Programmes) commitments with SLC (under the FTP Agreement),” the letter reads.

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N Krishnamurthy