ICC ban : SLC responds to Opposition Leader’s accusation

Media Statement: Sri Lanka Cricket 

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) strongly refutes the recent allegations made by the leadership of the SJB (Samagi Jana Balawegaya) in the parliament regarding the communication between SLC and the International Cricket Council (ICC). It is evident that there is a misapprehension and misinterpretation of the contents of the letter under reference, and the SLC is compelled to clarify its position on the said matter.

SLC, as a Full Member of the ICC, is duty-bound and obliged to adhere to the member obligations envisaged in the articles of association of the ICC. In doing so SLC is further obliged to keep the ICC informed of any difficulty and/or difficulties of adhering to such obligations.

With the appointment of Mr Roshan Ranasinghe as the Hon. Minister of Sports, SLC has been experiencing continuous undue interferences by the Hon. Minister in its governance and operational matters.

SLC hereby draws attention to article 2.4(d) of the ICC Articles of Association which reads as follows;

“2.4 (D) manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government (or other public or quasi-public body) interference in its governance, regulation and/or administration of Cricket in its Cricket Playing Country (including in operational matters, in the selection and management of teams, and in the appointment of coaches or support personnel)”

The interferences by the Hon. Minister did make it difficult for SLC to manage its day-to-day affairs as envisaged in the said article, Compelling the SLC to bring such interferences to the attention of ICC as SLC could not honour its obligations to comply with the said requirements envisaged in the article 2.4(D) of the ICC Articles.

SLC being the governing body of the sport of cricket in Sri Lanka, recognized by the
ICC in terms of article 2.3 of the Articles of Association of the ICC is also entrusted
with the administration, management and development of cricket in Sri Lanka.

In the backdrop of repeated interferences by Mr. Roshan Ranasinghe Hon. Minister of
Sports and the said interferences being brought to the attention of the ICC by SLC, the
ICC did take the following actions as stated below.

1. November 25, 2022: ICC issued the first warning letter to SLC regarding
political interference by the Sports Minister.

2. April 2023: A 3-member committee, appointed by the ICC, to monitor and
report back on the Political interferences of the Hon. Minister of Sports.

3. May 2023: ICC Deputy Chairman Mr. Imran Khawaja visited Sri Lanka to inform the relevant stakeholders of the importance of permitting SLC to function autonomously and the possible repercussions of not adhering to
article 2.4(D) of the Articles of Association of ICC

The SLC wish to state despite the said warnings and the ICC Deputy Chairman Mr. Khawaja’s visit to Sri Lanka the Hon. Minister of Sports did take the following actions in violation of the said Article 2.4(D).

1. September 2023: The Sports Minister appointed three individuals to administer
SLC, leading to a refusal by the ICC to meet with political appointees and further the ICC categorically warned the Minister about interfering with the affairs of SLC.

2. October 2023: The Sports Minister circulated internal information and confidential documents to the ICC, condemning SLC operations despite ICC warnings.

3. November 2023: The Sports Minister arbitrarily appointed an Interim committee, leading to SLC obtaining a court ruling to suspend the Gazette notification and the interim Committee.

In response to the action of the Hon Minister the ICC had explicitly and categorically stated that it would not recognize any interim committees appointed by the Hon. Minister and The ICC would only recognize the duly elected office bearers of SLC as their point of contact as far as Sri Lanka is concerned.

Therefore the suspension of SLC was a result of continues interferences by the Hon. Minister despite numerous warnings resulting in SLC not being able to adhere to article 2.4D in violation of said article and as stated it is quite evident that it was not a result of SLC’s communication which was misquoted and/or misapprehended by the Leader of SJB in the Parliament.

SLC sympathizes with those who may not fully understand the intricacies of how sports associations affiliated with international bodies such as ICC function. We sincerely; request anyone who wants to be critical of SLC to diligently intelligently consider the facts prior to disseminating baseless accusations and statements lacking merit.