Government has intervened to clean the Sri Lanka Cricket Board and cricket in particular tainted with corruption favouritism and irregularities and wastage of money.
Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe has appointed a 10-member committee, chaired by former Supreme Court Judge Justice KT Chitrasiri, to submit a draft of the proposed new constitution for Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC),
Issuing a media release on Thursday, Minister Ranasinghe said the independent panel of governance experts would conduct “necessary stakeholders inquiries and deliberations, impartially and objectively, with the assistance, guidance and advice of the Technical Committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC).”
Also in the committee, as members, are Dr. Duminda Hulangamuwa, Dr. Ariththa Wickramanayake, President’s Counsel Harsha Amarasekera, Major General (Retd) Renuka Rowell, Deepthika Kulasena, Gayal Kalatuwawa, Hariguptha Rohanadeera and former cricketers Charith Senanayake and Farveez Maharoof.
The Minister said that the appointments came pursuant to a writ application (No. 460/2020) in the Court of Appeal that sought to amend or draft a new constitution for SLC.
In a letter addressed to the committee chair, the Minister said that he had sought “the guidance and expert advice of the ICC as it has indeed provided, in respect of the constitution of other cricket bodies internationally.”
The minister also said that he expected the committee to draft the proposed new constitution within two months.
Interestingly, a few hours before the news of the appointment of this committee was made public, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) released a media statement that it had earned a record net profit of Rs. 6.3 billion during the year 2022, which it said was a three-fold year-on-year increase compared to 2021.
It is no secret that Sri Lanka Cricket has, over the years, earned a reputation as an organisation rife with corruption and mismanagement.
A direct result of this has been the abysmal performance of the national team in recent times.
Over the last 25 years, successive ministers of sports have made valiant attempts to turn back the tide of corruption and mismanagement by dismissing SLC boards and appointing no less than eight interim committees (IC) under many persons of great integrity.
These have generally been quite successful, but their interim nature makes the changes they implement impermanent as well.
With assets of over Rs. 10 billion and annual revenue often counted in billions of rupees, it is hardly surprising that SLC would be the focus for many types of nefarious individuals.
For decades, the Constitution of Sri Lanka Cricket has been an unsolvable enigma. It gives voting rights to an enormous number of persons who may have ulterior motives and hidden agendas and may not have the best interests of cricket at heart.
It was assumed that this Constitution could only be changed by a vote of the governing body itself, which was akin to asking the mafia to reform itself.
The Minister of Sports appeared to have little power to change the SLC Constitution and also over the finances and management of SLC.