New SLC Management Already On Collision Course With Sports minister: Shammi Silva Hits Out At Sangakkara And Mahela For Interfering In Administration

February 21, 2019

Newly-elected President of Sri Lanka Cricket Shammi Silva hit out at former Sri Lankan cricketers Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena accusing them of interfering in the cricket administration. 

Addressing his first press briefing after being elected as the new SLC President, Silva said Sri Lanka was the only country where former cricketers would interfere with the administrative work. 

"Look at India. Do you think Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar interfere with their cricket administration?" Silva asked. 

Silva, a close ally of former SLC Chairman Thilanga Sumathipala, was elected the President of SLC today with a majority of 26 votes. His rival was businessman Jayantha Dharmadasa, backed by Arjuna Ranatunga and his brother, Nishantha Ranatunga. 

However, addressing a press briefing earlier today, Sports Minister Harin Fernando said he would pursue the plan presented by former cricketers Sangakkara, Jayawardena and Aravinda de Silva to amend the SLC constitution. 

"I will present it to the Cabinet and then get it passed in Parliament. I am sure all political parties will support the amendment. The new SLC management will be given a reasonable time-frame to make the transition. The new administration, regardless of who they are, will have to work with this plan," Fernando explained. 

The Sangakkara-Jayawardena plan is aimed at reducing the number of teams at the top tier of domestic cricket and making it more competitive. It is a widely-held belief that there is an unbridgeable gap between Sri Lanka's domestic cricket and international cricket that has turned Sri Lanka's national team into an underperforming unit in recent years. 

The Minister also added that he had a meeting with two former players, Sangakkara and Jayawardena, last evening. Fernando expressed optimism that the new cricket administration would cooperate with him to usher in reforms. 

However, Silva's remarks indicate that the new cricket administration is already on a collision course with the Sports Minister and two of the most respected players in the country's cricket history.