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New Low For Sri Lanka Cricket: Following ODI World Cup Debacle In India, SLC 'Suspended' By ICC For Government Interference

Sri Lanka's ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign ended with a defeat against New Zealand, their seventh in nine outings, on Thursday. Last week, fearing protests, an anti-riot squad was deployed in front of the SLC premises

ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: New Zealand Vs Sri Lanka
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The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board has suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership of the ICC with immediate effect. (Match BlogScorecard | Full Coverage

"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," stated the ICC in an official release.

The main headache for the Sri Lankan board was its failure to manage the affairs and also prevent the government interference in their affairs, regulation and furthermore, the administration of the cricket in the Island country. 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will determine the condition of the suspension, that includes duration and specific terms in the coming days. The suspension from the apex cricketing body shows their seriousness towards breaches and government interventions in the cricket administrations by member nations.

Talking about their cricket, the national team recorded their worst World Cup performance since 1992, winning only two of their nine games. The 1996 champions were marred by a series of injuries, warranting replacements outside the original squad. That even led to a change of captaincy mid tournament.

Their disastrous show against India, where they were all out for 56, triggered a backlash at home wherein the police had to call in anti-riot squad for security. In their final game at the World Cup, the team as bowled out for 171 and their qualification for the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy is also in jeopardy. 

Sri Lanka currently sit ninth in the points table and their final standing will depend on the other results.

A sequence of events unfolded in Sri Lankan cricket following the team's disappointing run in the ongoing World Cup in India. Sri Lanka could manage only two wins from nine games and are out of the semifinals race. However chief selector Pramodaya Wickramasinghe stated that the side's disastrous show at the ongoing ODI World Cup was a result "of a conspiracy from outside"

Pressed for reasons for the poor performance, Wickramasinghe, a member of the World Cup-winning 1996 team, said: "give me two days to disclose everything about it. This was the result of a conspiracy from outside.  "It is very sad, I am taking responsibility,” he told reporters at the airport.

Also Read: BAN Vs SL: Sri Lanka Axe Cricket Board Days After India Humiliation At ICC Cricket World Cup 2023

The main opposition party leader Sajith Premadasa moved the resolution titled 'the removal of the corrupt SLC (Sri Lanka Cricket) management' which was seconded by the senior government minister Nimal Siripala de Silva.

The parliament's approval came two days after the Court of Appeal restored the SLC management headed by Shammi Silva on Tuesday.

Also Read: ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Sri Lankan Team Returns Home, Chief Selector Blames External Conspiracy For Poor Show

On Monday, Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe sacked the SLC management and appointed former World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga as head of a seven-member interim committee to govern the cricket board before the Court of Appeal restored it.

While the parliament was debating the resolution, police protection was provided to SLC headquarters. Several hundred people had turned up near the premises of the SLC headquarters calling for the resignation of the management.

The criticism of the national team's performance grew louder when Sri Lanka were bowled out for 55 in the run chase against India in Mumbai. Sri Lanka had also lost badly to India in the preceding Asia Cup where they were bowled out for 50 in the final played on September 17.

The first time the ICC handed a suspension to a full member was back in 2021 when Zimbabwe Cricket was suspended due to government interference.
(With PTI inputs)

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