Sri Lanka sports minister sacked over cricket crisis

Sri Lanka sports minister sacked over cricket crisis

COLOMBO – Sri Lanka’s sports minister was sacked on Nov 27, hours after he accused President Ranil Wickremesinghe of trying to assassinate him over his moves to clean up corruption at the cricket board.

Officials said Roshan Ranasinghe was dismissed ahead of Nov 27’s weekly cabinet meeting, after he told parliament that Mr Wickremesinghe should be held responsible if he was killed.

“I fear I could be killed over my work to clean up the cricket board,” Ranasinghe told parliament, escalating a row with Mr Wickremesinghe, who had been at loggerheads with the minister over the running of Sri Lanka Cricket.

“If I am assassinated on the road, the president and his chief of staff will be responsible,” Ranasinghe said.

There was no immediate reaction from Mr Wickremesinghe, except confirmation from his office that the minister was dismissed.

Ranasinghe sacked the elected cricket board earlier in November after accusing office-bearers of gross corruption, a charge they have denied and are challenging in court.

He made the move after Sri Lanka’s humbling 302-run defeat by India at the Cricket World Cup.

The 1996 champions finished ninth in the 10-team group, ahead of only the Netherlands – the only non-Test playing nation at the tournament.

The cricket board is the richest sporting organisation in the otherwise bankrupt island country.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) earlier in November, saying it had failed to ensure there was no government interference in its affairs, violating the world body’s rules.

The ICC also stripped the nation’s hosting rights for the 2024 Under-19 World Cup and moved the tournament to South Africa.

The SLC said the loss of the tournament was a “big blow” to the morale of young players, and a substantial financial loss to the country.

“This decision is something that makes the entire nation sad,” said the board’s assistant secretary Krishantha Kapuwatte. “We have been working diligently in the past four months to prepare our venues for the tournament.”

Ranasinghe has refused Mr Wickremesinghe’s calls to revoke the sacking of the board.

Parliament backed the sports minister by passing a non-binding resolution three weeks ago, asking the cricket board to resign pending a forensic audit of its accounts.

Mr Wickremesinghe has appointed a committee to investigate the ICC suspension.

The cash-strapped country defaulted on its US$46 billion (S$61.5 billion) debt in April 2022 after running out of foreign exchange to finance imports of even the most essential commodities, making life a misery for the island’s 22 million people.

At the peak of 2022’s crisis, months of civil unrest forced the ouster of then-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa when protesters stormed his residence. AFP, REUTERS

News Related


Sports Illustrated scrubs AI-generated content after being called out for using deep fakes

Sports Illustrated scrubbed its site of AI-generated content that included bylines and photos for authors that don’t exist, according to a report.The publication — once home to authors like John ... Read more »

¡Los mejores del año! Conoce los nominados a la Gala Crack, los premios de TNT Sports

La señal que lleva el balompié criollo a las pantallas del país reveló a los nominados para su premiación de cierre de temporada. ¡Conoce todas las categorías y candidatos aquí! ... Read more »

JO 2024: les élus dénoncent des tarifs de transports établis "sur le dos des Franciliens"

De nombreux élus dénoncent l’impact sur les usagers de l’accord entre l’État et Île-de-France Mobilités, alors même que Valérie Pécresse avait assuré ne pas vouloir faire payer le coût des ... Read more »

Gary O’Neil says Wolves loss at Fulham may have ‘finally turned him against VAR’

Gary O’Neil said ‘maybe tonight has finally turned me against VAR’ after Wolves’ defeat (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire) Gary O’Neil admitted Wolves’ 3-2 defeat at Fulham may have ‘finally turned ... Read more »

Forest investigating allegations of homophobic abuse by fans at Brighton game

Nottingham Forest’s City Ground (Tim Goode/PA). (PA Archive) Nottingham Forest are working with the police to identify fans who are believed to have directed homophobic abuse at Brighton players and ... Read more »

‘What is the point of VAR?’ asks angry Gary O’Neil as Wolves lose at Fulham

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Gary O’Neil appeals during the Premier League match at Craven Cottage (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire) Gary O’Neil asked “what is the point in VAR?” after his Wolves ... Read more »
Top List in the World