Despite requests by the outing executive committee to extend their term until fresh elections are held to elect, Sports Minister Faiszer Mustapha appointed Secretary of the Ministry, Kamal Padmasiri as the competent Authority for Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
The decision was reached after the Court of Appeal stayed SLC’s election on a technicality which was scheduled for May 31. The term of the Thilanga Sumathipala led administration ended on May 31.
“I have made this decision within the legal framework and hope that the transitions will be seamless,” Minister Mushtapha said announcing the decision. “I look forward to conducting a free and fair election to appoint appropriate office bearers to the SLC as soon as possible.
Accordingly, Padmasiri will lead Sri Lanka’s richest sports body until fresh elections are held. He will be assisted by SLC CEO Ashley de Silva who will manage all day to activities of the board.
“I always believed that democratically elected office bearers should run sports bodies. There is no legal provision in me to appoint an Interim Committee,” he added.
Earlier Sumathipala said that they had requested Sports Minister to extend their term which was turned down by the minister.
The Court of Appeal on Wednesday stayed cricket elections till June 14 on a writ application filed by Nishantha Ranatunga—a former SLC secretary citing several irregularities in the election process.
Cricket elections postponed indefinitely
Court of Appeal has issued an order staying Sri Lanka Cricket Elections scheduled for Thursday (May 31) considering a petition filed by former Secretary of SLC Nishantha Ranatunga pointing out several irregularities pertaining to the election.
Ranatunga who lost the election in 2016 has submitted his nomination for the posts of President and Secretary at the AGM. The case will be taken up again on June 14. With the term of current members ending May 31, the Sports Minister will have to either go for an interim arrangment or to extend the term of the current board until the elections are over.
SLC elections were originally scheduled for May 19 but was postponed to May 31 subsequent to a directive from the Attorney General’s Department. The AG’s department cited that the appointment of the election committee by the Executive Committee was in violation of the Sports Regulations and asked to call for an Extraordinary General Meeting to make the appointment.
Ranatunga had also filed a petition in the court saying that the incumbent president Sumathipala was ineligible to contest the election due to his connection to gaming and newspaper industries. Sumathipala has repeatedly denied these charges. The Sports Law and the SLC constitution bar anyone with connections to gaming or newspaper industries in holding office in National Sports Associations.
Sumathipala, who first contested for the post of SLC President in 1998 at the age of 34, had never been defeated in a cricket election.