The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Friday was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the grounds of government interference, reports said. The development comes not long after the island nation's government sacked the SLC following the team's poor performance at the ongoing ICC ODI World Cup 2023.
"International Cricket Council Board has suspended Sri Lanka Cricket's membership of the ICC with immediate effect," ICC said in a statement.
"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 statement said.
Following the sacking by the government, the SLC members moved court and got reinstated. This further deepened the crisis, news agency PTI pointed out.
On Thursday, a joint government and opposition resolution in parliament demanded the resignation of the SLC's management.
Sri Lanka's cricket turmoil
Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe called SLC "traitorous and corrupt" in a statement to parliament on November 3, saying board members should resign.
Following the resignation of SLC secretary Mohan de Silva and the sacking of the board, Ranasinghe replaced them with an interim committee chaired by World Cup-winning former captain Arjuna Ranatunga. But ousted SLC President Shammi Silva petitioned the court against the dismissal and was granted a two-week stay order, with a full hearing to follow. The matter was also discussed in Sri Lanka's parliament earlier this week.
The SLC also issued a statement on allegations made by Ranasinghe about the transfer of $2 million from its accounts, saying they were used for operational expenses only and not transferred out of their accounts.
"SLC receives funds and sponsorship income in USD, which are intentionally kept in our USD accounts to leverage exchange rate fluctuations," it said. "However, it is important to note that SLC needs to carry out its operations in Sri Lanka and fulfil financial obligations to stakeholders, including suppliers, on a regular basis. To meet these expenses, SLC follows the practice of transferring funds from its USD account to its local currency (LKR) accounts. This has been a long-standing practice, as SLC does not derive significant income in local currency," it added.
The government, which is split over the minister's decision to sack the SLC board of management, came out with a report, recommending a brand new constitution for the governing body with a new voting structure to appoint office bearers.
- With Reuters inputs