Sports Minister Insists SLC Interim Body Appointed According To Legal Procedure

The appointment of an interim body to run Sri Lankan cricket is in tune with laws governing the island nation, the country's sports minister said on Friday.

The move came a day after the International Cricket Council decided to investigate possible ministerial interference following the government's decision last month to dissolve the SLC board.

Sri Lanka's Sports minister - Navin Dissanayake - appointed a nine-member interim committee, headed by former Test opener Sidath Wettimuny, to run the sport from April 1.

Dissanayake acknowledged that they were dealing with matters concerning large amounts of money and said that he was attempting to take down the ‘mafias’ which control the game in the country. He declined to elaborate on who represented this ‘mafia’.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) failed to hold elections by March 31 as per laws governing sports associations in the country, and so prompted the government to appoint the committee.

"Our sovereign law is paramount to all the other laws," Dissanayake told Reuters, adding that he had not yet received any communication from the ICC, cricket's global governing body.

"If that is conflicting with the ICC charter, then we will have to see what we are going to do" he said.

The ICC requires free and fair elections for office-bearers who sit on member boards.

After a board meeting in Dubai on Thursday, the ICC said it was prepared to withhold funding for Sri Lankan cricket and would write to Dissanayake seeking an explanation for the intervention.  

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said Thursday it would write to the Sports Minister of Sri Lanka regarding possible government interference into the running of cricket on the island.

Under the ICC constitution, free and fair elections of office-bearers must take place within Member boards.

In a statement issued Thursday after a board meeting at its Dubai headquarters, the ICC - cricket's global governing body - said: "The ICC Board supported a recommendation of the ICC Governance Review Committee that it should write to the Sports Minister of Sri Lanka seeking a full and proper explanation of its intervention that prima facie puts SLC in breach of the ICC's constitution."

The Cricinfo website reported that the ICC would withold its next financial distribution due to SLC pending the outcome of its investigation into possible government interference.
(With inputs from Emirates247 and BBC Sandeshaya)

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