Sri Lanka's Sports Ministry takes over Sri Lanka Cricket

Following the delaying of the elections of Sri Lanka Cricket, country’s Sports Minister Faizer Mustapha appointed the secretary of his ministry to oversee the affairs of the sports body here on Thursday (May 31st, 2018).

Sri Lanka’s Appeal Court on Wednesday issued an order staying the elections of SLC scheduled for Thursday. A further hearing has been scheduled by the court on the 14th of June.

Mustapha addressing a media briefing told journalists that he is appointing Kamal Padmasiri as the Competent Authority to oversee the affairs of SLC.

The appointment is not unprecedented as in 2009 then Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge had appointed his Secretary as the Competent Authority to oversee the affairs of SLC.

“Consequent to a writ application filed and an interim order issued, I have taken a decision with regard to SLC. I have appointed Mr. Kamal Padmasiri as the competent authority of SLC,” Mustapha told journalists at the Sports Ministry auditorium in Colombo.

“This is a temporary arrangement. This is until an election is held. According to the powers vested on me from the Sports Law Section 41, I have decided to appoint a competent authority. I took advice from the Attorney General and the Attorney General advised me that this was the right decision to take.” Mustapha went onto say.

Previously, Former Secretary of SLC Nishantha Ranatunga had filed a petition pointing out several irregularities pertaining to the election.

Ranatunga was to contest for posts of President and Secretary at the AGM. He had lost the previous election in 2016 heavily having contested against Sumathipala for the post of President.

Apart from staying the election, the court issued an order to elaborate the case on June 14. Ranatunga’s lawyers argued that the Election Commission for the AGM had been appointed illegally.

The elections that were originally scheduled for May 16 were postponed on the advice of the Attorney General’s Department on technical reasons. SLC has come under heavy criticism after a sting operation by Al Jazeera exposed corruption in the sport.

The documentary aired by the Qatar based Television Network exposed a curator attached to the Galle International Stadium willing to doctor the pitch while two former international cricketers were caught giving their consent to be involved in corrupt practice during games.

SLC has also been blamed for sweeping the investigations into a domestic first-class game under the carpet after some prominent members of the Executive Committee were exposed for their part in the scandal.

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