11 Nov 2023

ICC suspends Sri Lanka Cricket Board; what is Board's future and its involvement in international cricket events now?


The International Cricket Council (ICC) has suspended the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) due to government interference, resulting in the immediate loss of its membership. This action follows the disappointing performance of the Sri Lankan cricket team in the ongoing ODI World Cup in India, where they won only 2 out of 9 matches.

The decision to suspend the SLC was made during an online meeting of ICC officials in light of excessive government involvement in the board's affairs. The upcoming ICC quarterly meeting in Ahmedabad from November 18 to 21 will determine the future course of action regarding the Sri Lanka Cricket Board.

Despite the suspension, the impact on Sri Lankan cricket currently appears minimal, as the team is not scheduled to play international cricket until December, and no funds are expected to be transferred to the board until January.

Sri Lanka may be denied to host Men's Under-19 World Cup

However, the suspension may jeopardize Sri Lanka's ability to host the Men's Under-19 World Cup scheduled for January-February next year. If the ICC decides not to retain the board's membership, the hosting rights for this tournament could be revoked.

Decision to dissolve SLB was initiated by country's Sports Ministry

The decision to dissolve the Sri Lanka Cricket Board was initiated by the country's Sports Ministry on November 6, citing the team's poor performance in the World Cup. An interim board, headed by the 1996 World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga, was appointed, but the Sri Lankan court has temporarily stayed the dissolution for the next 14 days.

Sports Minister criticized the board as traitorous and corrupt 

Amidst the turmoil, allegations of corruption were levied against the board, leading to the resignation of Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Mohan de Silva. The Sports Minister criticized the board as traitorous and corrupt after the team's significant 302-run defeat to India in the World Cup match played on November 2.

In response to the government's interference and the subsequent suspension, SLC President Shammi Silva sought assistance from the ICC, leading to the immediate online meetings and the suspension of board membership. The outcome of the ICC meeting in November will provide clarity on the future of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board and its involvement in international cricket events.

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