ICC suspends Sri Lanka over government interference

Sri Lanka are out of the Cricket World Cup

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has suspended Sri Lanka with immediate effect after “government interference” in the running of the sport in the country.

On Monday, the country’s sports minister announced the that the entire that the entirety of the cricket board had been sacked.

The minister installed an interim committee led by former captain Arjuna Ranatunga but otherwise lacking in cricketing experience that included the sons of two politicians.

However that inteim committee was subsequently struck down by the courts, with the old Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board reinstated.

The changes came after a difficult Cricket World Cup that leaves Sri Lanka likely to miss out on qualification for the 2025 Champions Trophy.

And while the conditions of their suspension are still to be decided, the news from the ICC comes as another significant blow to cricket in the country.

“The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board has suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership of the ICC with immediate effect,” the ICC said in a statement.

“The ICC Board met today and determined that Sri Lanka Cricket is in serious breach of its obligations as a Member, in particular, the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government interference in the governance, regulation and/or administration of cricket in Sri Lanka.

“The conditions of the suspension will be decided by the ICC Board in due course.”

Sri Lanka, who are led by former England seamer and coach Chris Silverwood, won just two of their nine World Cup group games.

Former England seamer Chris Silverwood is coach of Sri Lanka

They had reached the final of the 2023 Asia Cup ahead of the tournament, but were thrashed by India after being bowled out for 50.

Silverwood’s side fared little better against the hosts during the World Cup, registering 55 all out in response to India’s total of 357-8.

Sri Lanka are currently ninth in the standings, with only the top eight finishers qualifying for the Champions Trophy in two years’ time.

They are level on points with England, Bangladesh and the Netherlands, who all have one more match to play.

The city of Colombo, meanwhile, is due to host the men’s U19 Cricket World Cup in January and February of next year.

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