The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board has made a decisive move by relocating the upcoming men’s Under-19 World Cup from Sri Lanka to South Africa. This decision comes in the wake of the ICC’s provisional suspension of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), prompted by concerns of government interference in the administration of cricket in the island nation.
SLC’s Notification to ICC
- Interestingly, it was Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) that first approached the ICC, bringing attention to the government’s interference in cricket operations within the country.
- The ongoing discord between SLC and the Sports Ministry has been marked by accusations of corruption and mismanagement against SLC officials.
ICC Board Approval in Ahmedabad
- An ICC Board member revealed that the decision to shift the U19 World Cup to South Africa was formally approved at a recent ICC Board meeting in Ahmedabad.
- The member emphasized that while this move impacts the U19 World Cup, it does not disrupt Sri Lanka’s bilateral and domestic cricket activities.
SLC’s Warning and Response
- SLC President Shammi Silva had previously cautioned that Sri Lanka might lose the hosting rights for the U19 World Cup if government interference persisted.
- In response to the ICC’s decision, SLC released a statement expressing its focus on resolving the suspension issue.
- The statement also raised concerns about the Sports Minister’s alleged manipulation of media to influence public opinion, emphasizing SLC’s commitment to upholding cricket integrity in Sri Lanka.