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Cricket
Sri Lanka dissolves national cricket board
Changes are being made to Sri Lanka's Cricket Comittee after current panel are accused of corruption and mismanagement.
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2011 13:38
Former Test batsman Sidath Wettimuny has been appointed as part of the new interim committee [GALLO/GETTY] 

Sri Lanka's sports minister said on Friday he had forced the national cricket board committee to step down following allegations of financial mismanagement.

Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) committee, headed by former player Somachandra de Silva, was asked to resign on Thursday.

De Silva is being replaced by millionaire businessman and former SLC board chairman Upali Dharmadasa.

"One of the main tasks is to keep an eye on the finances. We are in a financial crisis after the World Cup," Aluthgamage told a news conference.

"We spent more than we budgeted for."

Aluthgamage appointed an interim five-man committee, chaired by businessman Dharmadasa and including former Test opening batsman Sidath Wettimuny, SLC media manager Brian Thomas said.

World Cup woes

The SLC has been run by successive interim committees - comprised of people favoured by politicians of the day - for seven years.

The current panel was appointed in April 2009, mainly to oversee the co-hosting of the World Cup along with India and Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka, which hosted 12 World Cup matches, reached the final in April and lost to India in Mumbai.

Tired of political involvement in sports administration, the International Cricket Council this week unanimously decided to amend its laws to make free elections mandatory for all national bodies by mid 2012.

       India won the 2011 World Cup leaving co-hosts Sri Lanka in financial trouble [GALLO/GETTY] 

A government official from Sri Lanka said a fresh committee had to be brought in to bring stability back to the SLC before an election could be held.

"You can't have a proper election at this moment and if you have one, again corrupted people may come to the top positions," said the official.

"So there will be another interim committee for the next six months before holding a proper election to select the board."

SLC, once the nation's richest sports body, has debts of more than $15 million after co-hosting the World Cup.

SLC said construction costs for a new cricket ground near the southern town of Hambantota and upgrades to two existing venues for the World Cup blew out by $11 million to $40 million, creating much of the financial strain.

It sought a $1.8 million grant from the government to help ease the burden.

Regarding the corruption allegations, police raided the SLC premises last month and removed computers with information on finances.

Sri Lankan governments have sacked previous elected boards and appointed administrations citing corruption, but no legal action has been taken.

Source:
Agencies
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