Shammi Silva has been re-elected as Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC’s) president for a third consecutive term, alongside nearly all members of the previous executive committee. All members were voted in uncontested.
The only change has been to the post of treasurer, with previous treasurer Lasantha Wickramasinghe withdrawing from contention citing other commitments. Sujeeva Godaliyadda, previously assistant treasurer, will take up the post of treasurer, with the assistant treasurer to be appointed at a later date.
Speaking to the media following the annual general meeting, Silva spoke about his objectives for his coming two-year term. One of which was securing sole World Cup hosting rights for Sri Lanka, which is due to co-host the 2026 T20 World Cup with India.
“We want get to back our missed World Cup opportunity. We missed out on hosting the World Cup alone in 2026, as we didn’t have enough grounds [to an international standard, with flood lights],” Silva said. “We had a proposal to build a new stadium quashed by a few people. Because of that, the country lost out. In time to come, we want Sri Lanka to host more World Cup tournaments. At the same time, if we have more stadiums we can get certain tournaments that are being played in other countries to be played in Sri Lanka.”
Silva added that the proposal to build a new floodlit stadium in Biyagama, about 12 miles outside Colombo, would be looked at again in the near future.
A faction headed by former SLC vice-president K Mathivanan had been mooted to contest the elections, but declined to hand in nominations prior to the deadline in February, citing opposition to the elections taking place under Sri Lanka’s sports regulations as they stood at the time.
Sri Lanka’s sports minister, Roshan Ranasinghe, had last year ushered in new regulations which, among other changes, would have brought about term limits for office bearers as well as barred those over the age of 70 from contesting. Mathivanan and his team had been willing to contest under these regulations. However, Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeals issued an interim order staying the new regulations until June, which has resulted in the elections taking place under the old regulations. In effect, the new regulations would have ruled out several of Silva’s faction from competing.
Meanwhile, Silva also revealed that discussions were underway about potential changes in voting rights among SLC’s member clubs. Currently, SLC elections count 148 votes from its members, with some clubs having the privilege of two votes owing to different categories of membership. Critics of the system have long argued that it gives rise to a culture of buying votes.
“We are discussing it with the sports ministry and minister. We have appointed a committee, so we’re definitely going to reduce a lot of votes,” he said.
Changing the voting structure, however, is easier said than done, with any change to the SLC constitution requiring a two-thirds majority vote from the current member base.
There is also currently a petition under consideration in the Court of Appeals seeking to overhaul the SLC constitution. The sports minister, who was named as a respondent in the case, earlier this year appointed a 10-member independent panel to draft a proposal for a new constitution.
(With Inputs from ESPN)
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