- Sri Lanka’s entire cricket board dismissed over poor World Cup performance and corruption allegations.
- Arjuna Ranatunga named chairman of a new interim board by Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe.
- Ongoing challenges and controversies in Sri Lankan cricket administration prompt significant change.
Sri Lanka’s national cricket board faced a major overhaul as Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe took drastic action in response to the team’s poor performance in the World Cup. The minister had been embroiled in a long-standing dispute with Sri Lanka Cricket due to allegations of widespread corruption within the organization. On Monday, Ranasinghe made a bold move by dismissing the entire board, a decision that raised eyebrows.
In an official statement, Ranasinghe announced the formation of a new interim committee for Sri Lanka Cricket, and at its helm was the iconic 1996 World Cup-winning captain, Arjuna Ranatunga. The seven-member committee featured a retired supreme court judge and a former board president, bringing a mix of legal expertise and cricketing knowledge to the table.
This decision came on the heels of Sri Lanka’s disastrous World Cup performance, where they suffered a humiliating defeat against India, leaving their qualification for the semi-finals hanging by a thread. The defeat sparked public outrage, leading to protests outside the cricket board’s office in Colombo.
Ranasinghe had long been vocal about his discontent with the state of cricket in Sri Lanka, accusing the board of corruption, mismanagement, and ethical breaches. He even wrote to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for support in addressing these issues, although he had previously faced backlash for perceived political interference in cricket matters.
The Sri Lankan cricket board’s troubles could be traced back to the post-1996 era when the country’s World Cup win brought substantial financial inflows and, subsequently, instances of corruption and malpractice. Former sports minister Harin Fernando had previously highlighted Sri Lanka’s tarnished reputation, leading to the introduction of stringent anti-corruption laws in 2019.
The move to replace the cricket board marked a significant shift in Sri Lankan cricket administration, with the hope that the new interim committee, led by Arjuna Ranatunga, could steer the nation’s cricket in a more transparent and accountable direction.
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