Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) says it unequivocally rejects the ‘baseless and malicious’ allegations made by the Minister of Sports Roshan Ranasinghe, during a media conference.
The SLC further said that it never sought its suspension from the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Speaking during the press briefing, Ranasinghe had claimed that SLC forced the ICC to suspend Sri Lanka from international cricket while quoting a letter allegedly sent by SLC to the ICC on 07 November 2023.
“Facts have been confirmed that the SLC President and the Executive Board has misled the ICC,” the minister told reporters on Sunday (19).
However, issuing a statement yesterday (20), the cricket governing body asserts that the minister’s statements were tainted with malice and appeared to be orchestrated to instigate the public, creating undue influence on pending and emerging matters related to the affairs of SLC.
Furthermore, the statement mentioned that: “The SLC notes with concern that Mr. Ranasinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of Sports, seems to lack a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies surrounding the affairs of the Parent Body and its affiliated members. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the President of SLC, as a director of the ICC (International Cricket Council) Board of Directors, is duty bound to respect and further the objectives outlined in clause 5 of the Memorandum of Association of the ICC.”
“It is imperative to clarify that each ICC Director, including the President of SLC, has an obligation to apprise the status of SLC affairs when there are reasons to believe that impending actions by the Minister of Sports may jeopardize the fulfillment of obligations set out in the ICC’s Articles of Association.”
Meanwhile, SLC emphasizes in the statement that it has consistently acted in the best interest of the cricket administration in Sri Lanka, striving to address issues through constructive dialogue.
“Regrettably, these endeavors proved futile, given the continuous and unfounded criticism by the Minister of Sports, aiming to wield unwarranted influence over SLC through the misuse of authority”, it added.
“It is noteworthy to mention that despite lacking any vested authority, the Minister of Sports has taken the unprecedented step of communicating with the ICC and its full members, making false claims that SLC officials were involved in corruption and malpractices based on a Special Audit report,” it said, adding that however, it is crucial to emphasize that the said audit report did not reveal any corrupt conduct or malpractice, and the ICC and its Members were well aware of the groundlessness of these allegations.
“Moreover, SLC believes that the Minister’s continuous appeal to the general public and repeated false allegations of corrupt conduct and malpractice by SLC officials appear to be driven by political motives, aimed at enhancing his public image”, the statement added.