ICC's Withholding Of Funds 'Unlawful' - SLC

Sri Lanka Cricket has expressed shock at its recent treatment by the ICC, and has described the ICC's withholding of funds due to the board as "unlawful". SLC also said the ICC's account of what transpired at the April 16 board meeting was "misleading", and has provided its own version of events, which suggest the ICC had been repeatedly informed of developments within SLC, particularly pertaining to the appointment of the interim committee.

"SLC is shocked by the purported decision said to have been suddenly taken to 'withhold' monies which are now lawfully due and payable by ICC to SLC by way of the Financial Distributions for the T20 World Cup 2014 and the World Cup 2015," a board release said.

"We would point out that these are monies which were due and payable by ICC to SLC from long prior to the appointment of the Interim Committee. Further, these are monies which are payable by ICC to SLC, irrespective of the body which is managing SLC for the time being."

The amount, believed to be around $10 million dollars, is vital to SLC in the short-term, as the board had budgeted to make loan repayments with that sum - some of it to ICC itself. The interim committee, which was appointed on March 31, had inherited large debts from previous administrations.

"SLC reminds ICC that these monies are lawfully due and payable to SLC and that the arbitrary and unlawful withholding of these monies will cause grave damage to cricket in Sri Lanka."

SLC also took issue with the portion of an ICC media release that read: " Mr Nuski Mohamed - a nominee of the Interim Committee - was given the opportunity to provide information about the status of the Interim Committee, following which he was invited to attend the ICC Board meeting as an observer on behalf of the interests of cricket in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, Mr Mohamed declined to attend the meeting on these terms and as a result there was no representative from Sri Lanka at the meeting."

According to SLC, it had sent ICC a letter dated April 2, containing the "background of to the appointment of an interim committee pending the holding of Elections." SLC said this letter had been referred to in a meeting between interim committee member Nuski Mohamed and ICC General Counsel Iain Higgins on April 14, when the two had also "discussed, in detail, matters in relation to the status of the interim committee of SLC, and also handed over some relevant documents." This meeting took place on the recommendation of ICC chairman N Srinivasan, SLC said.

Both ICC and SLC agree that Mohamed was invited to the April 16 board meeting. But SLC said that it was only after the meeting had begun that Mohamed had any clue that he would be requested, by Srinivasan, to attend only as an observer. "Mr. Mohamed declined to accept the status of an 'observer' and reiterated that SLC was a full member of ICC and was entitled to participate in the meeting as a full member," SLC said. "He stated that (he) could not compromise the position of SLC by participating as an 'observer'."

"The chairman then requested Mr Mohamed to leave the meeting room for a short while in order to discuss the matter with the other members of the board." Mohamed took no part in the meeting after that, though other board members, including the PCB's representative, were understood to have supported Mohamed's full participation in the meeting.

PCB chairman Shahryar Khan said he had urged the ICC board to allow Mohamed to represent SLC. "I tried to convince the Board that its not a military coup in Sri Lanka so let give them six to nine months to get their board elect according to the constitution," he said. "I suggested that for a while let them represent Sri Lanka Cricket in the ICC meeting but none other than Pakistan and Zimbabwe supported them. ICC asked SLC to attend the meeting as an observer not as full member (who can't vote) but the SLC representative did not accept that for the sovereignty of his country."

The ICC's April 16 release had also said that the 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." However, both SLC and Sri Lanka's sports ministry have said that no correspondence from the ICC has been received to date.

"SLC trusts that, ICC will ensure that the current issue is resolved amicably and expeditiously to the satisfaction of all parties, keeping in mind the excellent relationship between SLC and ICC which has spanned decades," the release said.
(espncricinfo)

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