ICC's three-member committee arrives in Sri Lanka; to probe into political interference influencing cricket

As part of ‘Fact Finding Mission’ discussions were held with the President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Mr Shammi Silva.

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Deputy Chairman of the International Cricket Council, Mr Imran Khwaja, arrived in Sri Lanka on Wednesday, May 10 to look into the political interference in hosting cricket matches in the country. Khawaja is a part of the three-member committee appointed by the ICC to investigate the hurdles Sri Lanka are facing for the smooth conduct of cricket matches in their nation which was marred by political and civil unrest in 2022.

The purpose behind the visit is to conduct a ‘Fact Finding Mission’ pertaining to the said ‘mandate.’’ As part of his ‘Fact Finding Mission’ discussions were held with the President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Mr Shammi Silva, and the Executive Committee of the SLC.

During discussions with the SLC, Khwaja inquired about obstacles Sri Lanka Cricket is facing owing to political interferences and the impact it has on conducting cricket matches.

Earlier, Sri Lanka Cricket had sent a letter to the Honorable Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs and Irrigation on May 8, 2023, to inform him about the visit by Mr Khwaja to Sri Lanka and his intention to meet the honourable Minister.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will be taking part in the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifiers 2023 starting from June 18. The tournament will feature ten countries fighting among themselves for the remaining two spots in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, scheduled to take place in India from October 5.

Sri Lanka failed to get a direct qualification to the marquee tournament as they finished in the tenth spot in the Cricket World Cup Super League points table with seven wins from 24 matches.

Sri Lanka to defend their Asia Cup crown this year

Following the qualifiers, the island nation will be defending their Asia Cup title in September. Sri Lanka won the last edition of the Asia Cup by beating Pakistan in the final and gave their fans a few moments of joy amid the political turmoil in the nation.

However, the host country of the Asia Cup 2023 is yet to be announced as Sri Lanka Cricket, and Bangladesh Cricket Board has objected to hosting the tournament in the hybrid model proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board, where India’s matches will be played in U.A.E.

There were reports which suggested that the tournament might be hosted in Sri Lanka if it is moved out of Pakistan. In the coming weeks, the clarity over the tournament’s host is going to come out.

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