Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe took the drastic step of dissolving the Sri Lanka Cricket administration on Monday, appointing an interim committee, headed by 1996 World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga, in its place.
It was his response to the growing public outcry over the national cricket team’s poor results at the Cricket World Cup, but one that appears like it may just backfire on the Minister.
Firstly, the appointment of the committee was challenged by the current SLC administration in the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.
This resulted in the Court issuing a stay order suspending the functioning of the committee until November 16.
It meant that Ranatunga, who assumed duties as the chairman of the committee on Monday, had to leave SLC on Tuesday, along with committee member Upali Dharmadasa, after the order was issued.
The appointment of this interim committee also appears to have angered President Ranil Wickremesinghe because he was not informed of its appointment, even asking the Minister to withdraw the appointments.
President Wickremesinghe also expressed concern that an interim committee could lead to sanctions by the International Cricket Council (ICC), and he appointed a sub-committee comprising four Cabinet Ministers to determine the effects of the interim committee.
Yes, that’s a lot of committees.
While the Minister’s desire to reform SLC is commendable, is shooting from the hip really the way to go?
And why does the seven-member committee comprise of only two individuals who have any association with the sport?
This is not even getting into the sanctions Sri Lanka could face from the International Cricket Council (ICC), who have previously stated that it does not recognize interim committees.
Among the possible ICC sanctions is Sri Lanka being demoted to an observer at ICC meetings, the withholding of funding, or the more severe step of suspension altogether from the sports body.
If Sri Lanka were to be suspended by the ICC, it would be the third sports body that has suspended the country this year.
Darker days may be ahead for Sri Lanka’s most beloved sport.