The ICC has suspended Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) effective immediately due to significant government meddling in the board’s operations. Even while the ICC has referred to the sentence as a “suspension,” it is actually a warning as the organization works to stop more government meddling in SLC’s operations. As things are, Sri Lankan cricket will not be significantly impacted by the suspension right now. Following the conclusion of Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign on Thursday, the nation will not host any cricket matches until December. SLC won’t get any ICC funding until January.
The ICC board convened virtually on Friday to discuss the SLC issue, which involves government meddling in every aspect of the organization’s operations, including money, administration, and even concerns pertaining to the national team. The ICC’s quarterly meetings are set for November 18–21 in Ahmedabad. The ICC board will decide on the next line of action during its meeting on November 21.
Although the ICC’s ruling might have been unexpected, SLC might not have been taken aback. It is recognized that SLC requested that the ICC board go to this great length. Shammi Silva, the president of the SLC, who attended the meeting on Friday and is presently in India. He is still recognized by the ICC as the elected representative. He will probably be at the ICC meetings in Ahmedabad as well since the ICC Board has granted SLC officials permission to attend as observers.
The issues surrounding Sri Lankan cricket have been discussed extensively in the nation’s parliament ever since. But as of Friday, with the announcement of the ICC suspension, the elected SLC board led by Silva was in charge of national cricket affairs.
ICC Suspends Sri Lanka Cricket
“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 International Cricket Council stated in a statement. “The conditions of the suspension will be decided by the ICC Board in due course.”
The SLC board was dismissed by Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe of Sri Lanka on Monday. An interim committee chaired by Arjuna Ranatunga was appointed. However, the SLC board was effectively reinstated the following day when the courts of Sri Lanka issued a 14-day stay order on the gazette that disbanded the board.
The government’s formation of such committees had not previously resulted in an ICC suspension. Even in the event that the temporary committee held authority. When an interim committee was formed before, in 2014–2015, the ICC placed the money owed to SLC in escrow. And reduced SLC to observer status at board meetings. However, they continued to be an official member of the ICC.
In accordance with the country’s 1973 sports law, the sports minister of Sri Lanka has also been tasked with approving all national teams in the country. Ashley de Silva, the CEO of SLC, declined to comment on the matter.
After Zimbabwe Cricket was suspended by the ICC in 2019 due to government intervention. SLC is the second Full Member to be suspended by the organization in the previous four years. But unlike Zimbabwe, where financing was also frozen and all cricket-related activities were immediately discontinued. The ICC will proceed cautiously in Sri Lanka.