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ICC Suspends Sri Lanka’s Membership Over Government Interference

  • 2 min read

Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) membership of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has been suspended with immediate effect for government interference, the sport’s governing body said on Friday.

Sri Lanka’s ministry of sport dismissed SLC’s board and replaced it with an interim committee following the country’s poor performance at this year’s World Cup but the sacking was stayed by Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal.

“The ICC Board met today and determined that Sri Lanka Cricket is in serious breach of its obligations as a Member,” it said in a statement.

“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 conditions of the suspension will be decided by the ICC Board in due course.”

Sri Lanka won only two of their nine games at the World Cup and sit ninth in the 10-team standings. Reuters has contacted SLC for comment.

Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe called SLC “traitorous and corrupt” in a statement to parliament on Nov. 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 $2 million 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.”