Cricket Crisis : Sri Lankan Govt expresses regret to ACC chairman Jay Shah

November 17, 2023 at 12:13 PM

The Sri Lankan Government today officially expressed its regret to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) President and Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Jay Shah over the statement made by former Captain Arjuna Ranatunga blaming him for the downfall of Sri Lanka Cricket.

Speaking in Parliament today, both Ministers Harin Fernando and Kanchana Wijesekara expressed their regret over the matter and said that the blame is on Sri Lankan administrators, not the outside world.

“We as a Government express our regret to the Asian Cricket Council Cheif Jay Shah. We cannot point hands at the Asian Cricket Council Secretary or other countries for the shortcomings of our institutions. It is a wrong assumption,” Minister Wijesekera said. 

Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Harin Fernando said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has reached out to the BCCI Secretary Jay Shah to discuss the International Cricket Council (ICC) ban imposed on Sri Lanka Cricket.

Minister Harin Fernando warned that the ICC ban on Sri Lanka Cricket is detrimental to the nation, as it will affect the upcoming under-19 cricket world cup scheduled for January next year.

“If the ICC ban is not lifted no one will visit Sri Lanka for the tournament. Sri Lanka will also not earn a single penny from the cricket tournament,” he said. 

Further commenting on the matter, Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said the President has authorized the Ministerial Sub-Committee, headed by Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, to discuss the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) issue with the ICC. 

Minister Wijesekera further said that accordingly, the committee has requested the ICC for a meeting. 

Explaining the task of the committee, the minister said the committee is responsible for studying the current crisis surrounding the SLC and providing the necessary recommendations for required changes.

“We have held relevant discussions with the representatives of the SLC and Sports Ministry. However, our primary responsibility is to work towards lifting the ban imposed by the ICC,” he said. 

Minister Wijesekera further said the ICC ban not only affects the men’s national team, it also affects the women’s team, and the under-21 and under-19 teams, not allowing the cricketers to move forward.

Earlier this month (Nov), the International Cricket Council’s Board announced it had suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership of the ICC with immediate effect.

“The ICC Board met today and determined that Sri Lanka Cricket is in serious breach of its obligations as a Member, in particular, the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government interference in the governance, regulation and/or administration of cricket in Sri Lanka,” the ICC said in a statement.

The suspension comes following an escalating spat between the SLC and Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe. (NewsWire)