In a significant development for international cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) membership.
This decision, coming into effect immediately, was driven by concerns of government interference in the sport’s governance.
The Sri Lankan ministry of sport’s dismissal of SLC’s board, and its replacement with an interim committee, prompted this action.
The ICC emphasized the need for SLC to manage its affairs autonomously and without government intervention.
World Cup Performance and Government Response
This suspension follows Sri Lanka’s underwhelming performance at the World Cup, where they won only two out of nine games.
Sri Lanka’s ministry of sport criticized the cricket board, labeling it “traitorous and corrupt,” and called for the resignation of its members.
The replacement of the board with an interim committee, led by former captain Arjuna Ranatunga, was an attempt to address these concerns. However, this move was met with legal challenges, leading to a stay order from Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal.
Financial Transparency and Operations
Amid these tumultuous developments, SLC also faced allegations regarding the transfer of funds. The council clarified that the $2 million mentioned were used for operational expenses and were not improperly transferred.
SLC stressed its regular practice of converting funds from its USD accounts to local currency (LKR) for operational needs within Sri Lanka, highlighting its transparency and adherence to financial protocols.
This suspension by the ICC marks a critical juncture for Sri Lanka Cricket, as it grapples with internal governance issues and the need to align with international standards set by the ICC. The unfolding developments will be closely watched by cricket fans and governing bodies worldwide.