London (11/11 – 40)
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has suspended Sri Lanka’s membership with immediate effect, citing government interference in its administration.
Sri Lanka’s sports ministry had dismissed Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) board and replaced it with an interim committee following poor World Cup performance – although the sacking was stayed by Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal.
ICC Board suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership and determined that Sri Lanka Cricket is in serious breach of its obligations as a member. SLC has found to breach 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.
“The ICC board met today and 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,” the sport’s governing body said in a news release on Friday.
Earlier this week, the ministry of sport sacked the national board – Sri Lanka Cricket – over the team’s poor performances at the 50-over Cricket World Cup in India.
A court decision reversed the ministry’s verdict, but it was still grounds for the ICC to take action.
Sri Lanka are ninth in the World Cup points standings after completing the league stage with only two wins from nine games.
They still need the remaining league games to go in their favour to qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan.
Sri Lanka are scheduled to host the Under-19 men’s World Cup, starting in January.
Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe called SLC “traitorous and corrupt” in a statement to parliament on November 3, saying board members should resign.
Following the resignation of SLC secretary Mohan de Silva and the sacking of the board, Ranasinghe replaced them with an interim committee chaired by World Cup-winning former captain Arjuna Ranatunga.
But ousted SLC President Shammi Silva petitioned the court against the dismissal and was granted a two-week stay order, with a full hearing to follow. The matter was also discussed in Sri Lanka’s parliament earlier this week.
SLC also issued a statement on allegations made by Ranasinghe about the transfer of $2m from its accounts, saying they were used for operational expenses only and not transferred out of their accounts.
“SLC receives funds and sponsorship income in USD, which are intentionally kept in our USD accounts to leverage exchange rate fluctuations,” it said.
“However, it is important to note that SLC needs to carry out its operations in Sri Lanka and fulfil financial obligations to stakeholders, including suppliers, on a regular basis.
“To meet these expenses, SLC follows the practice of transferring funds from its USD account to its local currency (LKR) accounts. This has been a long-standing practice, as SLC does not derive significant income in local currency.”