Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe has expressed his intention to file an appeal with the International Cricket Council (ICC) challenging the decision to suspend Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership.
In a recent press conference at the Ministry of Sports, he highlighted that the ICC’s action was based on a request from Sri Lanka Cricket.
During the conference, Ranasinghe also disclosed information about a group of individuals expressing satisfaction from a hotel room regarding the suspension of cricket activities in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Cricket board and its officials encountered significant public resistance following the release of an audit report by the Auditor General, alleging irregularities in the 2022 World Twenty20 Cricket Tournament held in Australia.
Public discontent intensified as the Sri Lankan cricket team faced setbacks in the ongoing World Cup tournament. With two matches remaining for the team, Minister Ranasinghe took decisive action by dismissing the administration of Sri Lanka Cricket and establishing an Interim Committee.
This move was justified by the need to address issues such as corruption and irregularities revealed in the special audit report related to the 2022 T20 World Cup cricket tournament.
The Minister’s exercise of powers under the Sports Act No. 25 of 1973 led to the appointment of former Sri Lankan cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga as the chairman of the interim committee, but the Court of Appeal, responding to a petition filed by ousted SLC President Shammi Silva, issued an injunction suspending the Interim Board’s activities for 14 days.
In Parliament, a resolution was unanimously passed on November 9 to remove officers, including the chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket, over corruption allegations. Despite these domestic developments, the ICC, concerned about the cricket crisis in Sri Lanka, decided to suspend Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership.
The ICC emphasised that Sri Lanka Cricket must ensure no government interference in cricket governance. The conditions of the suspension will be determined by the ICC Board in due course, with a special meeting scheduled for November 18 and 21 in Ahmedabad, India.
The ICC’s decision was made at the request of the Sri Lanka Cricket board, according to Cricinfo. Minister Ranasinghe addressing the briefing reiterated that he will be appealing the suspension imposed on Sri Lanka’s ICC membership.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket is set to appear before the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises Committee (CoPE) on November 14. The situation is expected to become clearer after the ICC Board meeting on November 21.