Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe Suspends Sri Lanka Cricket Board and Appoints Interim Committee to Take Over Without Consulting President or Govt. A Furious President Ranil Wickremesinghe Berates Ranasingha and Calls for Explanation;Cabinet Appoints 4 Member Ministerial Committee to Oversee SLC


Jamila Husain

Hours after Sports Minister Roshan Ranasingha appointed an interim committee headed by former cricketer Arjuna Ranatunga to assume control of Sri Lanka Cricket yesterday, an angry President Ranil Wickremesinghe telephoned Ranasingha and asked for an immediate explanation as to why he had made such a move without consulting him or the cabinet.

The Daily Mirror learns that the President was made aware that the Sri Lanka Cricket Board had been suspended and an interim committee was appointed only by seeing the messages on the news and was surprised as to why Ranasingha had not consulted him or anyone in the cabinet.

An angry Wickremesinghe immediately telephoned Ranasingha and called for an explanation and asked him to be present at the cabinet meeting last evening.

The President had also informed Ranasingha that politicizing the Sri Lanka Cricket Board would lead to Sri Lanka losing its membership in the ICC and why is it that such a sudden move was made when the World Cup series was ongoing. Ranasingha of course had defended himself to which he was firmly told to remember who the President was and that he should have consulted the cabinet before making any such move.

Later last evening when the cabinet convened, President Wickremesinghe questioned Ranasingha in front of the ministers as to why he made a sole decision and even the composition of the members was questioned.

All Ministers questioned Ranasingha as to how retired judges would run the functions of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board and why Rakitha Rajapakshe, who is the son of Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Hisham Jamaldeen, son of A.J.M. Muzammil were appointed to the committee.

The cabinet said that while the administration of Sri Lanka Cricket should be done by one committee, the allegations of misconduct should be done by another committee.

As a result, a four member ministerial committee headed by Foreign Minister Ali Sabry was appointed to look into SLC’s future activities and the gazette notification issued appointing the SLC interim committee members. The other ministers are Kanchana Wijesekara, Manusha Nanayakkara and Tiran Alles.

By last evening it was unclear if the new interim committee headed by Arjuna Ranatunga still remained as the President and Minister Ranasingha were yet to thrash that out.

The Daily Mirror learns that a few weeks ago Ranasingha was informed by the President to compile a report into allegations of misconduct by the suspended Sri Lanka Cricket Board and only after this report was submitted to the cabinet that a collective decision would be made and the course of action taken.

However instead of doing that, Ranasingha hurriedly suspended Shammi Silva and his gang from the SLC Board and appointed an interim committee appointed by Arjuna Ranatunga.
It is learnt that a furious President had also mentioned to some of his close confidantes yesterday that he would revoke the gazette issued by Ranasingha if Sri Lanka’s membership with the ICC was at stake and the cabinet would take over the Sports Law.

However despite Ranasingha being told last morning to provide an explanation to the cabinet over his sudden move to appoint an interim committee, the new members led by Arjuna Ranatunga visited the Sri Lanka Cricket yesterday to take over their functions. Ranasingha himself met Ranatunga later in the afternoon to begin discussions.

The suspended Sri Lanka Cricket Board led by Shammi Silva, who in recent days have been severely ridiculed by a cricket loving nation for the national team’s disappointing performance, remained silent with all suspended members remaining tight lipped over their disgraced suspension.

Courtesy: Daily Mirror