Just two days after Mohan De Silva held a press conference on the rejection of his nominations for the SLC elections, Jayantha Dharmadasa chaired an opposition conducted press conference at the Nawaloka hospital auditorium today.
Dharmadasa was accompanied by Hon. Arjuna Ranatunga, former SLC officials Nishantha Ranatunga and K. Mathivanan with another three of the proposed committee members, Eastman Narangoda, Hirantha Perera and Dr. Sedara Senarath. Dharmadasa and co. responded to the statements made by the De Silva party and went on to explain their proposals for the resurrection of Sri Lanka Cricket.
“We handed over nominations because we really want to first, resurrect Sri Lanka Cricket from the current plight and secondly, to rule out corruption from SLC”
Dharmadasa expressed his disappointment towards the previous governing body of SLC and explained how it has failed Sri Lanka Cricket in recent history.
“Previous groups of people haven’t looked after Sri Lanka Cricket… They have done everything other than governing our cricket”
Earlier this week, the opposition party stated that if Mohan De Silva and Ravin Wikramaratne’s nominations were disqualified under Regulation 5(4)(g) as the candidate has been expelled from SLC, by the Minister of Sports by virtue of the gazette notification issued under section 32 of Sports Law No 25 of 1973, Dharmadasa’s nominations should be questioned too as a similar scenario occurred in 2015 under his term at the Sri Lanka Cricket board. But Dharmadasa responded that he hadn’t been suspended from office at SLC back then, but that an interim committee was made to govern SLC since his term was over.
Nishantha Ranatunga spoke on the glory days of Sri Lanka Cricket when their proposed office bearers governed the body, reminding those present of the ICC Cricket World Cups in 2007 & 2011, Asia Cups in 2008 & 2014 and the World T20s in 2012 & 2014.
“Let me take care of the cricket (technical side of things), these guys will be secure the good governance for SLC” – Ranatunga
The need for a better and more sound structure for the school and domestic cricket levels was highlighted by Hon. Arjuna Ranatunga as he mentioned how only two votes being allocated to school cricket for the SLC elections have lead to the previous governaning bodies neglecting the development of school level cricket in Sri Lanka.
“Winning a World Cup isn’t easy. But we are planning to create an environment to at least qualify for the next stage(semi-finals) with a set of players who love this country and play for its pride”
He added that fixing and corruption should not be tolerated, and no one will be given free passes if they have been proven guilty.
“The immense challenge straightaway is supporting our national cricketers to hold focus on the game without any undue pressure and to ensure that they continue to serve the game with strong commitment and pride to reclaim the glory days of Sri Lanka Cricket, once again” – Ranatunga added.
Sri Lanka Cricket elections are scheduled to be held on the 21st of February.