Sri Lanka Cricket has launched a defamation suit against the country’s sports minister, as the dispute over the administration of cricket in the country deepens.
Meanwhile, at home, the SLC and the Sports Minister are at war on several fronts; This defamation suit is the latest of them. Aside from this legal action, the Sports Minister has also vowed to fight the suspension order issued by the Sri Lankan courts last Tuesday, which removed the “interim committee” that the minister had appointed and essentially reinstated the officials of the board who had been fired the day before.
“In response to the persistent and damaging defamatory statements made by the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Roshan Ranasinghe, Sri Lanka Cricket has taken a decisive step to protect its reputation and integrity,” a statement from the board read. “Therefore, on November 13, 2023, [SLC officials] jointly filed a defamation suit in the Colombo District Court, seeking damages worth Rs 2.4 billion on behalf of Sri Lanka Cricket.”
The SLC also held a press conference on the same day in which the Sports Minister was personally insulted.
Under Sri Lanka’s sports law, in force since 1973, the sports minister has a range of powers over the SLC and other sporting bodies in the country.
SLC is seeking assurances from the highest level of the Sri Lankan government that there will be no further political interventions, which in turn will likely see the ICC’s suspension on the junta lifted.