Lanka`s opposition party presses for legal body to run cricket

Colombo: Sri Lanka`s main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has asked the country`s parliament to come up with a legally structured body to govern the island nation`s troubled cricket administration.

"I propose the appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to look at a suitable draft in order to seek views of all parties. This can be done within six months," Wickremesinghe said.

He added that the PSC should recommend the constitution of the proposed body and who should man its positions. The leader was critical of the current set up of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

"This is an entity registered as a business venture. What is happening today is that certain individuals gain positions there to make money while another section is happy to curry favour with politicians to get into positions in SLC," Wickremesinghe said.

Raising questions at the nation`s richest sports body, SLC, having debts of more than USD 15 million after co-hosting the World Cup with India and Bangladesh, he queried, "When the estimate was for 1200 million rupees they ended up spending 2400 million. How could this be?"

Wickremesinghe denounced the political interference in SLC, saying since 2005 the body has been continuously run with politically appointed interim committees, which has prevented member clubs from exercising their franchise to elect office bearers.

Former Sri Lanka captain and a part of the current team, Kumar Sangakkara, in his Colin Cowdrey lecture earlier this month at Lord`s, lashed out at politically appointed interim committees for ruining the game in the country.

The ICC unanimously decided last month to amend its laws to make free and fair elections mandatory for all its member boards by 2012 and Sri Lanka sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has promised democratically transparent elections of SLC in the first half of 2012.


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