Upali Dharmadasa to head Sri Lanka Cricket

Upali Dharmadasa was elected the chief of Sri Lanka Cricket in an uncontested AFP

Colombo: Jan 3, 2011

Upali Dharmadasa has been elected uncontested to head the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in the first election in seven years.

His appointment was a foregone conclusion since the withdrawal of the team supported by the former president Tilanga Sumathipala on Monday.

Dharmadasa, a prominent businessman, headed the last of the politically appointed interim committees, which managed the affairs of SLC since 2005. His brother Jayantha Dharmadasa was also an interim chairman.

Meanwhile, Nishantha Ranatunga, the secretary of the last interim committee, has also been appointed the new secretary uncontested. Nuski Mohamed, a veteran cricket administrator, is the new treasurer.

Today’s election was forced by the ICC ruling that all politically appointed interim committees must be replaced with democratically elected bodies by 2012.

Sumathipala, a current government parliamentarian who was twice elected to head SLC, withdrew from contesting the election citing personal reasons.

His team leader, Mohan de Silva, himself an elected past SLC president, yesterday cried foul of the election process, hinting political interference while announcing the pull out.

However, Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage denied the accusations.

SLC elections have traditionally been a part of the island’s political power game.

Businessmen with powerful political backing often bicker to gain position in the set up particularly since Sri Lanka’s emergence as a major cricketing power in the international sphere. (PTI)