Sports minister looks to replace SLC officials with Ranatunga-led interim committee

Sports minister looks to replace SLC officials with Ranatunga-led interim committee

Sri Lanka Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe has sought to sack the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, replacing officials with a government-appointed “caretaker committee” headed by Arjuna Ranatunga. It is not yet clear what the ICC’s response to this move will be, given that the ICC had taken a dim view of the last committee appointed by the Sri Lankan government in 2014.

However, under Sri Lanka’s own Sports Act, the government has the power to dissolve the governing body of any sport, a power it has used several times in SLC in the last 20 years. But during the most recent interim committee’s term, which it chaired for about a year between 2014 and 2015, the ICC refused to disburse payments owed to SLC and kept those funds in escrow until SLC members elected a new board. . SLC was also demoted to observer status at ICC board meetings.

The dissolution was precipitated by Sri Lanka’s exit from the ongoing men’s World Cup, amid public outcry over the team’s dismissal for 55 at the Wankhede against India. But problems had been brewing for more than a year, with the Sports Minister frequently accusing the board of financial misappropriation and mismanagement.

Ranatunga has also separately spoken publicly about what he would change if he were put in charge of cricket in the country.

However, he is the only former international cricketer on the caretaker committee. The other members of the seven-member committee are SI Imam, Rohini Marasinghe and Irangani Perera (all retired judges of the Supreme Court or High Court of Sri Lanka), Upali Dharmadasa, who previously held senior positions in SLC, and Rakitha Rajapakshe. and Hisham Jamaldeen, sons of politicians who belong to the same ruling political coalition as sports minister Ranasinghe. Rajapakshe and Jamaldeen work in law and real estate, respectively.

Soon after Sri Lanka’s loss to India last week, Ranasinghe had sent a letter to the other full-member boards accusing SLC of “mismanagement”, a letter that essentially sought to pave the way for him to appoint his own committee.

The ICC board will meet in two weeks, and Ranatunga hopes to serve as Sri Lanka’s director (the ICC board is made up of directors from all full member countries) at that meeting.