Sports

ICC Ban On Sri Lankan Cricket Is A Betrayal Of The Nation: Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe

Ranasinghe had appointed an interim committee after sacking the governing body headed by Shammi Silva following the national team's disastrous World Cup campaign.

Sri Lanka cricket team in action during the WC warm-up match against Afghanistan in Guwahati.
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Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe on Sunday slammed Sri Lanka Cricket for bidding for a ban from the ICC, calling it a "big betrayal of the country". Ranasinghe had appointed an interim committee after sacking the governing body headed by Shammi Silva following the national team's disastrous World Cup campaign. (Cricket News | ICC World Cup 2023)

"This is big betrayal of the country," said Ranasinghe after reading out correspondence with the ICC by Silva administration. "They were doing so to selfishly hang on to positions after audit reports had highlighted their corrupt action."     

Ranasinghe had appointed legendary captain Arjuna Ranatunga as the head of the seven-member interim committee. But the ICC then suspended SLC with immediate effect for government interference and Silva also managed to obtain a court order suspending the interim committee.

In response to a parliamentary speech by the main opposition leader Sajith Premadasa accusing SLC of promoting the ICC for a ban, SLC said Ranasinghe was politically interfering in its work and as a full member they were duty bound to adhere to the articles of association of the ICC.     

The case on the suspension of the interim committee is to be taken up on Monday in the Court of Appeal. At least three judges have recused hearing the case. Ranasinghe led a scathing attack against the chair of the court of appeal in parliament for ignoring the audit report that highlighted the misdeeds of the SLC.      

Last Wednesday, SLC had slapped a defamation lawsuit against Ranasinghe for making "damaging defamatory statements" against it, deepening the administrative crisis in the country. The chaos in Sri Lankan cricket came after the national team's early exit from the World Cup. The Lankans managed only two wins in nine games.

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