By Shehan Daniel
Four of the seven former Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Interim Committee Presidents who wrote to the Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha last week, met with the Minister yesterday reiterating the need to make changes to the SLC Constitution.
The meeting, which lasted one and a half hours and was essentially a face-to-face discussion of what was addressed in the letter last week, was attended by Arjuna Ranatunga, Jayantha Dharmadasa, Ana Punchihewa and Sidath Wettimuny.
Vijaya Malalasekera was said to be out of the island, while Upali Dharmadasa and Rienzie Wijetilleke had excused themselves from the meeting, but, at least according to one of the former Presidents who attended the meeting, offered their fullest cooperation to the Minister.
Dharmadasa, speaking to the Daily Mirror, said that the Minister had not stated what he would do subsequent to the meeting, but instead stated that he would meet some of the cricketers before deciding a possible course of action.
“It was a very cordial meeting, and we explained point-by-point to the Minister what we addressed in the letter,” he said.
“He said he would meet the cricketers and decide what to do.”
“We also urged him to implement some sort of interim administration arrangement because there are many administrative decisions that need to be made,” Dharmadasa also said.
Meanwhile, Wettimuny, speaking to the Daily Mirror, said the quartet had once again emphasised the necessity for constitutional amendments, before the next election.
“We emphasised that until there are constitution amendments there will be no change (to the issues at SLC). We can’t expect these changes to be done after an election, so we urge the Minister to appoint an interim committee so that these changes can be made,” he said.
The amendments largely revolve around the reduction in the number of voters at an SLC election, with the current system encouraging politicking in the run up to the elections.
Wettimuny also suggested that such changes should be made through Parliament – one of the proposals made by former Interim Committee Member Prasanna Jayawardena PC (A Sitting Supreme Court Judge) in a concept paper of changes required at SLC which was presented to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the then Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera in 2015 – and that any interim arrangement made would need to run up to a year for these changes to be implemented.
“It is not possible to do these changes and hold an election within six months (as requested by the International Cricket Council) so whatever interim arrangement needs to be for a minimum one-year,” Wettimuny said.
He also said in the past the International Cricket Council (ICC) had accommodated interim committee running SLC, and the six-month time table given by the ICC on Tuesday, can be negotiated.
“I believe if we show them we are doing something good for cricket they will not have any issues,” Wettimuny said, pointing out that Indian Cricket has been administered by a Court-appointed committee since January 2017.
In their letter sent to Musthapha last week, the former SLC Interim Committee Presidents had also pointed out numerous alleged instances of ‘largesse and maladministration’ that took place during the Thilanga Sumathipala-led administration, asking the Minister to restore rule of law and good governance at SLC