International Cricket Council suspends Sri Lanka Cricket for government interference

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Friday (November 10, 2023) suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership with immediate effect after observing government interference in the national board.

International Cricket Council suspends Sri Lanka Cricket for government interference. Photo Courtesy: Sri Lanka Cricket Facebook page

The Sri Lankan Parliament Thursday unanimously passed a resolution, calling for the sacking of the country’s cricket governing body, with both the ruling and opposition parties supporting it.

“The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board has suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership of the ICC with immediate effect,” said the ICC in a statement.

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

The resolution passed by the Sri Lankan Parliament amounted to government interference and was enough ground for the ICC Board to suspend Sri Lanka’s membership.

Sri Lanka won only two of their nine games at the World Cup and sit ninth in the 10-team standings.

This comes after a series of events that started with Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe calling the Sri Lankan Cricket board  “traitorous and corrupt” in a statement at the Parliament on Nov 3, stating 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 stated 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.