SLC Standoff With ICC…

Sri Lanka’s sports minister has expressed his confidence that Sri Lanka Cricket’s current standoff with the ICC will be resolved, while the ICC has agreed to release a small percentage of the sum it is holding in escrow. Navin Dissanayake, the sports minister, said SLC would shortly receive USD $300,000 from the ICC, which amounts to about 2.5% of the payment due to the board.

The release of this money, which is effectively Sri Lanka’s prize money from the 2015 World Cup, is seen by SLC as a step toward the board’s full reintegration at the ICC. Dissanayake said he had also received a letter from ICC last week, and expects to respond over the next few days. He hopes to outline his reasons for suspending the SLC elections and appointing an interim committee.

“I can say that the letter from ICC was very cordial and there was nothing confrontational about it,” Dissanayake said. “So I am certain, we can sort this out with ICC. I am meeting ICC Chief Executive David Richardson and ICC Chairman Srinivasan to negotiate the matters shortly.”

The ICC’s constitution does not allow for government interference in cricket administration in full member nations. However, the SLC comes under the sports ministry’s purview, according to Sri Lanka’s sports law. This, Dissanayake said, was the crux of the wrangle.

“There is a conflict between Sri Lanka Sports Law and ICC regulations,” he said. “It can be negotiated. ICC has to understand the situation in member countries.”

Dissanayake also said Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigation Department would probe the awarding of local broadcasting rights of Sri Lanka matches to Carlton Sports Network as part of a wider investigation.

Meanwhile, a collective of Sri Lanka Cricket stakeholders, most from voting clubs and associations, has urged the Sri Lankan government to reinstate elections at Maitland Place. Sixty-eight members of cricket associations had met over the weekend, and expressed concern that SLC had been sidelined by the ICC.

The collective issued a release which said “outgoing office bearers” would seek an appointment with the government “to discuss this issue in order to minimize the damage that could cause to Sri Lanka Cricket and the restoration of the democratic rights of the membership.”