Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) executive committee officials were pulling the national women’s cricket sex scandal in different directions yesterday following an initial fact-finding probe revealed on Thursday that there was enough evidence to suggest a full-scale investigation.
President Jayantha Dharmadasa had called for an independent investigation on the scandal.
“The President of SLC feels that a complete outsider who is not in any of the SLC Sub Committees should be carrying out this investigation” SLC Chief Executive Ashley de Silva wrote to the SLC executive committee yesterday.
De Silva had added that he and the three other members of a special committee: SLC Head of Cricket Operations Carlton Bernardus, SLR Human Resources Manager Lasitha Mendis and SLC Legal officer Savithri Fernando had all felt there was enough evidence to suggest a full-scale investigation, after the fact-finding probe they conducted.
“In the recent past there have been many articles in the media with regard to the Women’s Cricket. The following SLC officials along with the undersigned (The above committee) had discussions with the Members of the Women’s Selection Committee, Support Staff and 05 senior women players separately, and are of the opinion that an investigation should be carried out pertaining to this issue” de Silva informed SLC executive committee yesterday.
“As per the discussion I had with the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee – Mr. Palitha Kumarasinghe PC who suggested that an independent inquiry be carried out by a lady lawyer and recommended the name of Ms. Vindhya Weerasekera” de Silva had stated.
“Therefore, appreciate if the EXCO could approve the initial investigation to be carried out and also recommend a lady lawyer to carryout same” de Silva added.
However SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga did not endorse the idea and had suggested the matter be handed over to the SLC Legal Advisory Committee headed by Palitha Kumarasinghe PC. The other members of this advisory committee are Uditha Egalahewa, Vindhya Weerasekera and Dr. Asanga Gunawansa.
“As per our discussion in the morning I suggest you get the views and the direction of our Legal Advisory Committee and proceed as per the constitution guidelines and the Players/Officials contract guidelines” Ranatunga stated in his reply to de Silva.
By the time of going to press last night, Assistant Secretary Hirantha Perera had replied the mail endorsing Ranatunga’s position while exco member Priyantha Algama had supported Dharmadasa’s view calling for an independent panel for the investigation.
Earlier on Thursday, National men’s selection committee chairman Sanath Jayasuriya who was to be a member of the original panel appointed by SLC to carry out a fact-finding investigation told “Daily Mirror” said that he informed SLC that he wished to be no part of such probe as he felt any inquiry on the issue should only be carried out by a panel completely independent of SLC, considering the serious nature of the allegations that had been levelled by national players against officials.
The issue assumed scandalous proportions after a local news report claimed that national women’s cricket team management and national selectors sought sexual bribes from cricketers to pick them and then retain them in the national team.(Channaka De Silva)