Sri Lanka Cricket secretary resigns amid team’s poor World Cup campaign

Mohan de Silva, the Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), resgined from his board position on Saturday, November 4. The reason for his departure has not been officially disclosed, but it is widely believed to be a response to the poor performance of the national team in the ODI World Cup. However, personal reasons may have also influenced his decision.

The criticism against SLC has been growing following the team’s early exit from the ODI World Cup. The team’s lacklustre performance left fans disappointed and raised concerns about the state of cricket in Sri Lanka. The pressure on SLC increased when the country’s sports minister, who has been engaged with the board, demanded the resignation of the executive committee or threatened drastic action.

The tension between SLC and the sports minister has been building for over a year, with financial mismanagement during last year’s Men’s T20 World Cup and issues surrounding domestic tournaments like the Lanka Premier League being major points of contention. While SLC usually maintains a friendly relationship with the sports ministry, conflicts occasionally arise.

According to Sri Lanka’s sports law, the sports ministry is responsible for overseeing SLC and other national-level sporting bodies. However, the ICC has strict policies against government interference in cricket, which serve as a safeguard against excessive power from ministers.

In a two-page statement, the sports minister accused SLC of various shortcomings, including the failure to provide necessary facilities for players, such as an indoor training facility and a swimming pool for fitness and injury rehabilitation. These grievances have long been a concern for Sri Lanka’s cricketers.

SLC has responded with strong statements in defence against the minister’s criticisms over the past few months. However, the national team’s disappointing performance in the World Cup has temporarily shifted the balance of power. The last time the government imposed an “interim committee” to replace SLC’s elected executive committee was in 2014, leading the ICC to hold funds intended for the board.