Arjuna Ranatunga
Arjuna Ranatunga was the captain of the Sri Lanka team that won the World Cup in 1996. File photo

Sri Lanka sports minister sacks cricket board; appoints Ranatunga as interim chairman

The drastic action has been taken after Sri Lanka's humiliating loss to India in Mumbai on November 2

Sri Lanka’s humiliating loss to India on Thursday (November 2) in Mumbai has had drastic repercussions for its board officials. The country’s sports minister Roshan Ranasinghe has sacked the national cricket board on Monday (November 6).

The statement issued by his office said, “Sports minister Roshan Ranasinghe has formed an interim committee for Sri Lanka Cricket.”

The statement added that the captain of Sri Lanka’s team that won the World Cup in 1996, Arjuna Ranatunga, has been appointed the chairman of a new seven-member interim board that will oversee the nation’s cricketing affairs. The interim board includes a former board president and a retired supreme court judge.

The sports minister has been tussling with Sri Lanka Cricket for several months over allegations of corruption in the board, which is the richest sports organisation in the country.

This move by Ranasinghe has come a day after the board's second-highest officer, secretary Mohan de Silva, resigned.

Sri Lanka on Thursday were bowled out by India for a paltry 55, the fourth-lowest World Cup total in history, in pursuit of India’s huge total of 358. The huge defeat had resulted in a public outcry in the country, with Ranasinghe saying the Sri Lanka Cricket board members had no moral right to continue in office and demanding that they all resign.

There has not been any response from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to Ranasinghe’s action of sacking the board. Last month, the ICC had forced the minister to withdraw a three-member panel he had appointed to investigate alleged corruption in Sri Lanka Cricket, calling it political interference.

Sri Lanka will play Bangladesh on Monday (November 6), and their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the World Cup are very slim.

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