Changes to ICC constitution could be Sri Lanka Cricket's saviour

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Mahinda Rajapaksa
Proposed amendments to ICC constitution aimed at eliminating government interference in member boards. AFP PHOTO/PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARIAT/STR.

A couple of months ago, Gavin wrote on his blog about how the International Cricket Council (ICC) could do more to help nations like Sri Lanka, where the governing body (SLC) is heavily influenced by the government, where elections have not taken place in years to elect able officials and where nepotism is rife.

Gavin highlighted the International Rugby Board (IRB’s) decision to strip Sri Lanka of its full member status because it had violated its regulations by not conduction elections.

In his words,

The SLRFU failed to meet the IRB’s rules and regulations in place, which requires all full-member nations to conduct elections to appoint officials for rugby’s governing body in Sri Lanka.

Contrastingly, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) – cricket’s governing body on the island – has failed to carry out elections since 2005 and utilises a government appointed ad-hoc interim committee to operate without proper oversight.

The lack of accountability and transparency at SLC saw the chairman Somachandra (DS) de Silva appoint his nephew Suraj Dandeniya as the director of the World Cup secretariat in Sri Lanka for a six-figure (USD) pay package.

The ICC announced recently that it is planning on changing its constitution, which will minimise government and political interference and eliminate interim committees.

The following are the proposed amendments,

  • Members must provide for (a) free elections and/or (b) appointments from amongst their members for their executive body or nominees from outside their members appointed by their executive body. This obligation shall be included in their statutes. Where there is no such provision or where the ICC Executive Board considers an executive body of member not to have been established by free elections and/or appointments as indicated above, the ICC Executive Board shall have the power to suspend or refuse to recognize an executive body, including an executive body set up on an interim basis.

  • Where a government interferes in the administration of cricket by a Member, including but not limited to interference in operational matters, the selection and management of teams, the appointment of coaches or support personnel or the activities of a Member, the ICC Executive Board shall have the power to suspend or refuse to recognize that member.

Obviously, there will be opposition to this move by those who will be affected. And there is. Pakistan has got the ball rolling with a lawsuit against the ICC to put a stop to it. Expect similar opposition from all those who are riding the gravy train in Sri Lanka as well.


Confused's picture

While the call for a stop to permanent Interim Committees in Sri Lanka is laudable, in my view it was still the lesser of the two evils than the last so-called elected body headed by Thilanga Sumathipala. One thing that supersedes abilities and competence is integrity and an impeccable character and to have him as an elected head is more disgraceful for the nation than anything that has followed including that of the current Interim mob. In Sri Lanka, ground realities mean that we may have to adjust what defines integrity, which may even boil down to a choice between the lesser of two evils. But there are some paths that we simply cannot allow to be followed...again.

If Sumathipala has an unblemished record on his character, it is only so in the same manner that Mervyn Silva can similarly boast of a similar record. This is Sri Lanka after all where you can be remanded for years on the most friviolous complaint if you are a nobody; and get off scott free for murder (literally) if you are somebody.

Let us not forget how "that" magistrate illegally provided Sumathipala with bail on a public holiday. Let us not forget that Sumathipala sent an underworld thug to Lords to watch the World Cup, and let us not forget that when this same thug was due to give evidence against Thilanga, he was SHOT AND KILLED INSIDE THE COURTROOM in front of the judge.

So while an elected body is desirable, there must be stringent guidelines on who is eligible to be elected. The reality though is that pigs will fly before this happens and someone like Thilanga will buy his way in to this position yet again in what is in reality, anything but a democratically elected body. This to me is a far greater threat than the appointment of any Interim Committee.

Theena K's picture

While I agree with Confused's sentiments (above) it has to be said that both interim committee and elected body, in SLC's case, are two sides of the same coin. It makes no difference what the process is - and isn't the process that the ICC wants to regulate? - the end result here and places like India/Pakistan will always be the same. Some government-backed goon who wants to wet his beak while pretending to give a sh*t about cricket.

Anonymous's picture

Nishantha and DS will do whatever they can to prevent this and MR will give full backing to block this. They all want it to remain the way it is. A lot of money can be made and MR is a cricket fan so he always want to have involvement and control in SLC.

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