Harin promises new Constitution for SL Cricket

Friday, 15 February 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By Madushka Balasuriya

Sports Minister Harin Fernando yesterday promised to push through long called-for changes to Sri Lanka Cricket’s Constitution, potentially paving the way for a wider range of candidates running for office in future elections. 

Sports Minister Harin Fernando  

As it stands, SLC elections comprise of 147 votes among 86 stakeholders, with many of the stakeholders located in outstation areas. The conflict of interest that arises from this situation has led to a scenario where individuals can attain dozens of votes in return for favours once elected.

At present a change to SLC’s Constitution can only be made by existing stakeholders, and it is unlikely they would support a change that removes their voting privilege. As such a change in SLC’s legal structure can only realistically be effected through Cabinet. 

While Fernando did not confirm what changes exactly would be made to the Constitution, he did name drop several former cricketers who had suggested truncating SLC’s bloated voting system.

“Respected figures such as Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan, and Sidath Wettimuny have called for a change in SLC Constitution, and I expect to present to this Constitution to Cabinet in about two weeks,” revealed Fernando at a media briefing yesterday.

“Once I get the approval from Cabinet I will present it to Parliament and once it gets passed, then the games that they have been playing in the cricket administration over the years will come to an end.”

Fernando added that the new Constitution would also potentially remove any existing obstacles that come up for candidates looking to run for SLC President. At present candidates must prove that they have played cricket at a “major tournament,” and that they have been a part of an official SLC administration in the past two years - criteria that severely limits the field of potential candidates.

“The goal is to clean up cricket, and ensure that anyone can become SLC president in the future without any bureaucratic limitations. People who love cricket can then become president,” stated Fernando.

Fernando also intimated he would be looking to revisit proposals put forward in a report by Jayawardena and Sangakkara, among others that looked at revamping Sri Lanka’s domestic cricket structure. “One of the biggest problems in Sri Lanka is that we gave premier status to too many clubs. And because of that a lot of players went abroad to play more competitive cricket. Because of this we’ve lost over 100 cricketers, very talented school cricketers. Only in Sri Lanka is there 14 premier clubs playing cricket. There should realistically be only about 8, but I don’t want to put my fingers in everything. These are my opinions and I hope the new administration will take them onboard.”