Appellate Court orders status quo until next hearing in SLC matter

A Sports Minister-appointed six-member committee had recommended the suspension or cancellation of SLC's membership based on their findings about the wrongdoings during 2022 T20 World Cup.

Sri Lanka cricket Team
Sri Lanka cricket Team. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

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The Court of Appeals has ordered to maintain the status quo on Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) membership until February 1 after hearing SLC President Shammi Silva and Secretary Mohan de Silva's writ petition pleading the quashing of the report of the six-member committee headed by retd. Supreme Court Judge Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena. The petitioners also prayed for the issuance of an order suspending any decision to cancel the registration of the SLC based on the committee's findings.

The six-member committee, which was appointed by the Sports Minister to investigate the alleged wrongdoings in Sri Lanka's 2022 T20 World Cup campaign, had recommended the suspension or cancellation of SLC's membership. Headed by Judge Weerawardena, the committee included former Ministry Secretary Kingsley Fernando, retired DIG Sudath Nagahamulla, retired Rear Admiral Ananda Peiris, former cricketer Nalin de Alwis, and lawyer Shalini Roshana Fernando.

The six-member committee's report, as per the Sunday Times, submitted that the "SLC spent over ₹65 million to send 16 administrators to watch the T20 World Cup despite instructions from the Sports Ministry to minimise costs. Although their travel is now being questioned, the Ministry had earlier approved it."

The committee also advised the Minister to conduct an "independent audit into the alleged expenditure and urged it to seize board documents to ensure evidence was not destroyed". 

The committee recommended the Sports Minister to excercise its powers under the sports laws of the nation and cancel SLC's affiliation with the ministry, however, the Minister has sought Attorney General’s advice on the matter.

Dialog Axiata ends association with Sri Lanka Cricket

In another development, Sri Lankan team's national sponsor Dialog Axiata have ended their partnership with the board prematurely citing financial constraints. One of the leading mobile communication providers in the country, Dialog Axiata joined hands with SLC in 2013 and have retained their position ever since.

The current sponsorship cycle, which commenced in December 2020, was signed for a three-year period, with a scheduled end in September 2023. Although in the backdrop of the unprecedented national economic crisis in the country, Dialog has expressed their inability to cater to their commitment further, withdrawing from the sponsorship from December 2022, effective March 2023.

“We understand the company is going through a tough phase due to the current situation in the country and we respect their decision. They have been with us almost 10 years and we are grateful for the commitment they made over the years,” an SLC official was quoted by Sunday Times.

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