Upali Dharmadasa, the SLC chief, slams Interim Committees

Saroj Pathirana, for the BBC Sinhala Service, 21 August 2011

The head of Sri Lanka Cricket says the continuous appointment of Interim Committtees  over the years to run the country’s richest sports body has paved the way for what he calls a greedy culture. Upali Dharmadasa, who was recently appointed by the sports minister as the new chairman of the chairman of the interim committee (IC), says that only two governing bodies were democratically elected since 1998. “The SLC has been controlled by nine interim committees, including me, since then,” he told BBC Sandeshaya. “This (the new culture) is a direct result of the appointment of interim committees.”

‘Injustice’: He said the continuous appointment of the ICs by consecutive governments is an injustice to the game of cricket. The IC chief described the recent controversy over a group of junior coaches refusing to provide voluntary assistance to organise the current Sri Lanka Vs Australia series as a ‘clear indication of the greedy culture created as a result of cricket management by ICs’.

Mr Dharmadasa said he took over the chairmanship of the new interim committee, on the request of the minister, to sort out alleged malpractices including financial irregularities during the recently concluded cricket World Cup and to pave the way for and elected governing body. “I would like to see that the clubs, affiliate clubs and district associations once again working to uplift cricket. That is what we had before,” the chairman who took over the reigns from DS de Silva on 01 July said.

“But many clubs are forgotten now. Our main aim should be to create new players to play for the country.” Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage earlier told BBC Sandeshaya that he would call elections for the SLC in January 2012. Mr Dharmadasa said it is too early to declare whether he would contest elections to be the next elected president of the SLC. “There are four, five months until January. We will see when it comes.”

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