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Sri Lanka administrators face the axe

Trevor Chesterfield |May 29, 2010, 2:06 PM IST
Sri Lanka administrators face the axe

New Delhi: Certain confusion surrounds the immediate future of Sri Lanka Cricket’s government appointed ad-hoc committee, as the island nation’s new Minister of Sport, C B Rathanayake it is claimed, is set to dissolve the D S de Silva led the controversial interim committee.

While Colombo’s morning daily, Daily Mirror, trumpeted in headlines that changes would be happening next week, possibly as soon as Monday, the office of SLC secretary, Nishantha Ranatunga, was sending out email notices announcing a media conference to meet the new four-man selection panel on Monday.

Rathanayake is said to have been critical of SLC’s decision to go over his head in criticizing the planned appointment of former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, to the post of deputy president of the International Cricket Council, without consulting him. Rathanayake says that SLC will follow the ruling of India over the issue.

Sharad Pawar, like Howard a politician, and the ICC president elect, has indicated he has no objection to Howard serving in the capacity as vice-president.

Just what Rathanayake has in mind with the new interim committee is uncertain as it is understood that not all members of the current ad-hoc body, in place for the past 13 months, will be retained.

Rathanayake flexed his ministerial powers for the first time in a surprisingly swift move last Wednesday (May 26) evening, when on the eve of the two-day religious Buddhist festival Versak, he sacked the heavily criticised, long discredited selection panel headed by Asantha de Mel. This came after a fall out with Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain over his request for all-rounder Farveez Maharoof to join the team in Florida where they played two 20/20 games with New Zealand’s black caps.

It has been said that De Mel was being held hostage by other members of the panel over matters of policy and transparency and a need to spell out their blueprint for the 2011 World Cup. One of the central figures in an ongoing fractious debate included the 40-year-old Sanath Jayasuriya’s place in the team for the ICC showpiece.

When he sacked the panel, Rathanayake comments were that the selection panel, whose contract was up for renewal, had been in place for too long and fresh ideas were needed for the World Cup that is being staged in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Sources in inner SLC circles said that several interim committee members, including the controversial secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, were involved in lengthy discussions during the past two days and in several cases, approaches were made to certain top political figures in a bid to stay the execution of the interim committee until a meeting was held with the Sports Minister.

It is also said that several boxes of documents have been removed from the offices of the secretary and treasurer were being removed and that the office of the local organising committee of the World Cup would be closed until further notice.

Input from Agencies

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1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 England 5253 105
4 New Zealand 3449 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5442 111
5 Australia 5854 110
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1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 6095 265
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 5248 262
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