Stop Witch Hunting Sri Lanka Cricket and the New Interim Committee
- author: CRicket Lover
- target: International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive David Richardson and the ICC Board,
- signatures: 12
we’ve got 12 signatures, help us get to 10,000
To International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive David Richardson and the ICC Board,
We, the undersigned, refer to the decision taken by the ICC Board (announced on April 16, 2015) to withhold payments owing by the ICC to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the decision to place the funds in an escrow account, following the appointment by the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) of an Interim Committee (IC) to govern SLC.
Through this request, the Sri Lankan Public, seeks the ICC Board’s cooperation in assessing and considering the following facts, which forced the GOSL to act and appoint an IC. The purpose of this letter is to ensure the wellbeing of the sport in our country is preserved.
2. The need to investigate allegations of corruption, including and not limited to financial mismanagement, political interference and abuse of power, under the previous cricket administrations.
During the previous government’s rule, SLC is alleged to have been heavily influenced, and controlled even, by the previous regime. Some of the allegations, well publicised in the media both in Sri Lanka and worldwide include:
a. Politically manipulated cricket board elections that have produced ‘government henchmen’ running SLC.
Allegations have been made that claim the most recent SLC elections were almost entirely ‘fixed’ to satisfy the interest of the previous government. Key officials were elected unopposed for important positions, after all other credible candidates were reportedly ‘ordered’ to withdraw their candidacy.
b. Politically influenced financial strategy that has nearly bankrupted SLC.
One of the most publicised examples of this is the construction of a massive cricket stadium in the middle of a jungle and with limited access to the public. The stadium was named after the previous President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa and built in his hometown of Hambantota at a colossal loss to the Cricket Board (SLC).
c. Politically manipulated business dealings have minimized the revenue generating ability of SLC at the expense of maximizing the profits of political interests.
The granting of TV rights by SLC to Carlton Sports Network (CSN), a company partly-owned by the former Secretary of SLC Nishantha Ranatunga and the members of the former ruling family. The SLC Secretary Ranatunga was the CEO of CSN when the SLC awarded TV rights to CSN.
In addition to the significant financial losses endured by SLC due to political influence, there are many other allegations of wrong doing within SLC and its Executives and employees. While SLC funds were used to satisfy the wishes of the political family, the spending of such funds to implement these wishes were carried out without any transparency or accountability. All and any investigation, initiated by the cricket-loving public into these matters, were swept under the carpet. When investigations were initiated, crucial evidence within SLC were reported stolen under mysterious circumstances. One such example is the disappearance of computer hard drives at SLC during an investigation into allegations of corruption during the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.
3. The need to ensure that no SLC Executives who were part of the most recent cricket administrations are allowed to be re-elected until they are cleared of all accusations through an investigation.
4. The need to ensure a neutral, unbiased, well-respected and represented team takes over responsibilities at SLC until all investigations are completed.
5. The need to implement necessary steps to ensure that the future election process will allow for a truly democratic process and free and fair elections.
The new GOSL had no option but to appoint an IC to address these concerns. The GOSL has assured the cricket loving public that this will be a short-term initiative and that they are fully committed to restoring normalcy and ensuring a free and fair election is held within a year.
We, the cricket loving public of Sri Lanka, request the ICC Board to consider the above and cease the hindrance of the GOSL’s efforts to clean up the sport in Sri Lanka.
From the New York Times to the Times of London, Sri Lanka’s recent Presidential election has been hailed as the island nation’s most important election – We, the people of Sri Lanka, voted for change and this change for the good of our people must also take place within the walls of SLC.
Cricket Lovers of Sri Lanka