After a demoralizing defeat to India in the 2023 World Cup, Sri Lanka's Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe took a bold step on Monday by removing all members of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) from their positions. The loss, which amounted to a massive 302-run margin in Mumbai on November 2, had ignited public outrage and calls for the resignation of the SLC board led by Shammi Silva. In response to these demands, several protests were organized outside the SLC headquarters, with demonstrators urging the Silva-led administration to step aside.
The situation became so tense that riot police were called in to protect the premises. In response, Ranasinghe acted promptly by establishing a temporary committee composed of seven members, with former World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga leading the way. The formation of this committee was made possible under the provisions of Sports Law No. 25 of 1973. For several months, Ranasinghe has been embroiled in a contentious conflict with Sri Lanka Cricket, the country's most financially affluent sports organization, over allegations of widespread corruption.
"Sri Lanka Cricket has been besieged with complaints of player disciplinary issues, management corruption, financial misconduct and match-fixing allegations. I would like to emphasize that interim measures will only be taken to establish good governance principles," Ranasinghe said in the letters, released to Sri Lankan media.
Arjuna Ranatunga is likely to lead the board
In the previous month, the Apex Cricket Council compelled Sri Lanka's Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe to withdraw a panel investigating alleged board corruption due to interference rules violation. Following a humiliating loss to India in the 2023 World Cup, Ranasinghe dismissed the entire Sri Lanka Cricket Board, leading to protests and the deployment of riot police.
An interim seven-member committee, led by former World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga, was appointed by Sports Law No. 25 of 1973. Ranasinghe has long been in a contentious battle with Sri Lanka Cricket over corruption allegations. Shammi Silva, the ousted board president, has refrained from commenting on the matter.