The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board has suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership with immediate effect due to government interference in administration, which had been in tumultuous waters for the last week. It added that the conditions of the suspension will be decided by the ICC Board in due course.
The huge development comes just a day after Sri Lanka’s campaign in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup in India came to an end with a five-wicket defeat to New Zealand in Bengaluru. In the tournament, Sri Lanka won two while losing seven games to end their campaign in ninth place, with its qualification for the 2025 Champions Trophy in jeopardy as they are out of the top eight teams in the points table.
In the meeting held on Friday, the ICC said in a statement its Board “determined that Sri Lanka Cricket is in serious breach of its obligations as a Member, in particular, the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government interference in the governance, regulation and/or administration of cricket in Sri Lanka.”
Incidentally, on the day Sri Lanka’s campaign in the Men’s ODI World Cup came to an end, its parliament unanimously passed a resolution, calling for the sacking of the SLC Board. The resolution in the parliament was supported by both the ruling and opposition parties.
The parliament resolution came two days after the Court of Appeal restored the SLC management headed by Shammi Silva on Tuesday, which had been sacked by Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe.
Ranasinghe had appointed former Sri Lanka cricketer and 1996 World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga as head of a seven-member interim committee to govern the cricketing affairs in the country in place of the SLC management.
There had been a public outcry in the country after Sri Lanka suffered a mammoth 302-run loss to India at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on November 2, with many demanding the sacking of the SLC board led by Silva, who was elected to the chairman post in May this year.
SLC is the second full member to have its membership suspended by ICC in the last few years after Zimbabwe Cricket was suspended in 2019 for government interference.
It remains to be seen what conditions ICC imposes in terms of SLC suspension and the effect it can have on cricketing activities in the country, considering that Sri Lanka are also the host of the 2024 Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup to be held in January next year.
(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)