Mahindananda Aluthgamage © AFP
Mahindananda Aluthgamage © AFP

Colombo: Sep 16, 2014

Sri Lanka Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said he would not hesitate to have a politically appointed interim committee to govern Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) if the present board members are unable to sort out their differences.

The Sports Minister met with the SLC president Jayantha Dharmadasa and secretary Nishantha Ranatunga to try and bring in rapprochement. “If they can’t sort out the differences I will consider appointing an interim committee,” Aluthgamage said. In the past few weeks there had been mayhem at SLC headquarters, with the infighting between the president and the secretary.

Dharmadasa and Ranatunga have been at loggerheads over the contesting for the President’s chair at the next SLC elections, which are to be held before March 31, 2015. The bone of contention is the distribution of funds among the stakeholders to be utilised towards the development of facilities at their respective clubs and organisations.

Sri Lanka has a history of its cricket being run by politically appointed interim committees. Sri Lanka’s sports law of 1973 empowers the Sports Minister to appoint governing bodies and approve team selections.

After pressure from the ICC to depoliticise cricket administrations, an election was held in 2012 for the first time in eight years. The incumbent chief Dharmadasa was elected uncontested in 2013 replacing his brother Upali, who was elected in the 2012 polls. Dharmadasa had directed the SLC employees to honour directives from the Board CEO, Ashley de Silva. The SLC insiders say the whole administration stands divided between Dharmadasa and Ranatunga.