Sri Lanka Cricket demands Prez’s ‘assurance’ before urging ICC to lift ban

Colombo: The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has demanded President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s assurance to ensure that there would not be any political interference in the country’s cricket-related matters.

SLC, the sport’s governing body in the island nation, sought the President’s assurance before approaching the International Cricket Council (ICC) to request the global governing body of cricket to lift the suspension it imposed.

The request from the head of SLC came on Saturday, hours after the Sports Minister also vowed to appeal to the ICC against suspension which he claimed was illegal.

On Saturday, SLC Chairman Shammi Silva told the media that he is planning to meet the ICC on November 21 but he needs assurance from the political front.

He also warned that there is a danger of losing at least $50 million if the ICC ban is not lifted.

He also cautioned that the ban would affect the chances of hosting the U19 Cricket World Cup in January and the ICC Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Sri Lanka next year. Silva said that plans were also underway to co-host the T20 World Cup in 2026 together with India.

“The ICC needs a certain level of assurance that the government of Sri Lanka would support these endeavours,” the SLC chairman said.

“They don’t have that confidence anymore. The AGM has already been cancelled, and I don’t know what will happen to the U19 World Cup,” Shammi Silva added.

If the U19 tournament is cancelled, financially burdened Sri

Lanka is also to lose another $2.4 million ICC grant to develop local venues, SLC officials said.

Meanwhile, Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe on Saturday said he would appeal to the ICC’s Dispute Resolution Committee as it was illegal and acted maliciously without giving an opportunity to respond to the allegations.

Minister Ranasinghe reiterated that if he fails to get redress from the ICC’s DRC, he would go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

Supported by the Sports Minister and both the government and opposition, Sri Lankan lawmakers on Thursday sacked the top officials of the island nation’s Cricket Board, claiming it was extremely corrupt and siphoning funds.

The 225-member Parliament, in a resolution, removed the cricket board, a day after it obtained an order from court to suspend Minister’s appointment of an Interim Committee to run the affairs of the cricket’s governing body.

Indo-Asian News Service or IANS is a private Indian news agency. It was founded in 1986 by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the \"India Abroad News Service\" and later renamed. The service reports news, views and analysis from the subcontinent about the country, across a wide range of subjects.

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