Sri Lanka Cricket announces suspension of all board-run tournaments

"Sri Lanka Cricket has decided to immediately halt all board-conducted domestic tournaments," Sri Lanka Cricket stated in a release.

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Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have announced the suspension of all board-run domestic tournaments in the country. The move is suspected to have originated from the potential restructuring of domestic competition and the dispute surrounding it.

It all dates back to 2021, when the SLC aimed at restructuring their domestic tournaments. The two-tier structure was abandoned, and the board went with two groups of 13 teams.

The initial idea was that the 26 teams would compete in three-day matches across the season, with the bottom two from each group getting relegated for the first two years and three teams facing relegation in the third year. The system would see 15 teams playing in the top-tier domestic Sri Lankan tournaments. 

However, what the board did not anticipate was that the relegated teams would have no three-day matches to compete in anymore. Instead, they would be taking part in the Governor's Trophy, which led to the domestic teams complaining about the lack of playing time for them. 

Seeing the complaints, in June 2023, the board called an emergency meeting, and the original two-tier system was reinstated as both tournaments began in June and July 2023. Furthermore, the board decided that the four relegated teams from 2022 will be taking part in the Invitational Club Tier B tournament. 

However, after this decision, Gesto Cricket Club (GCC) came forward to complain about it. The club took the matter to Sri Lanka's Court of Appeals, which issued a ruling in August 2023. The appeal by the club was later approved by Sri Lanka’s sports minister, Roshan Ranasinghe, as he stated that any change in the tournament’s structure could only be made through a change in the SLC’s constitution. 

Several reports also came forward that stated that the SLC wrote to the sports minister seeking approval but had not received a response. With the board still seeking clarity over the situation, they decided to suspend all board-run tournaments. 

"Sri Lanka Cricket has decided to immediately halt all board-conducted domestic tournaments, this includes the ongoing Major Club 3-Day Tournament and also the Invitational Club Tier 'B' 3-Day Tournament. Accordingly, Sri Lanka Cricket is compelled to suspend all SLC-organised domestic cricket tournaments until clarification is obtained on the same," SLC stated in a media release.

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