Legal battle looms large after ‘backdated’ gazette
by Rex Clementine
Sri Lanka Cricket elections scheduled for May could end up in turmoil after the party that has challenged the current administration accused Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa of backdating a gazette notification in support of the current office bearers.
An extraordinary gazette notification that has been circulated via social media indicates that the Sports Minister had given authorization for SLC Executive Committee headed by Shammi Silva that they could function in their offices till April although their terms ended on the 21st of February.
Shammi Silva, SLC secretary Mohan de Silva and Treasurer Lasantha Wickremasinghe will all become ineligible to contest the elections after they failed to submit the audited accounts by 20th of February. Now, the gazette issued by the Sports Minister, dated 15th February makes SLC Ex Co legal and therefore their submission of accounts on the 25th of February also becomes valid.
However, there will be several questions raised on the matter such as; why the Sports Minister asked the Attorney General’s department as to on which date the tenure of SLC Ex-Co ended. Shammi Silva’s committee was elected on the 20th of February 2019 and accordingly their two year term ended on the 20th of February 2021, Attorney General had informed the Minister of Sports.
Failure to submit audited accounts makes the President, Secretary and Treasurer of a sporting body ineligible to contest subsequent elections.
Since the Extraordinary Gazette notification dated 15th February became public, the Sports Minister has appointed a five member committee to run the affairs of SLC. That is an indication that the Minister has followed the Attorney General’s directive that the term of Shammi Silva’s committee is over.
The Minister told The Island that he will respond today.
Sources said that the issuing of the backdated Gazette notification was done due to technical reasons. For example, if SLC Executive Committee’s tenure had ended on the 21st of April, their appointment of Tom Moody as Director of Cricket also becomes illegal.
Shammi Silva’s camp had expressed their confidence of an overwhelming win at the SLC elections. The best chance of their rivals – K. Mathivanan, Nishantha Ranatunga and Bandula Warnaprura – had was to stop the present administrators by contesting the elections – sources said.
Sports Minister Rajapaksa clipped Shammi Silva’s Executive Committee’s wing when he appointed a high profile Cricket Committee comprising several former captains. The Ex Co had been adamant that they will not change the First Class structure where 24 teams compete. However, since Aravinda de Silva’s Cricket Committee took charge, the other Silva heading the Ex Co has shown signs of willingness for a reduced First Class tournament.
Second ODI between New Zealand and Sri Lanka abandoned
The second ODI between New Zealand and Sri Lanka has been called off due to rain in Christchurch.
Lahiru takes five wickets as Joes take lead
Under 19 Cricket
Off-spinner Lahiru Amarasekara produced a five-wicket haul as St. Joseph’s restricted Mahinda to 127 runs on day one of the Under 19 traditional cricket encounter at Galle on Monday.
Amarasekara was ably supported by spinner Yenula Dewthusa and Muditha Dissanayake who shared the other five wickets.
With wickets falling at regular intervals, batting opener Ranmina Hettiarachchi anchored the top order with a knock of 33 runs. Chandupa de Silva with 29 runs, Tharusha Dilshan (15) and Hiruna Gallalge (17) were the only other batsmen to reach double figures.
In their essay St. Joseph’s were comfortably placed at 132 for two wickets but back-to-back wickets in the last two overs placed them at 132 for four wickets at stumps.
At Welisara, Dinuka Tennakoon took five wickets but Maris Stella managed to post 268 runs as Shean Adithya top-scored with 83 runs. In reply Trinity were nine without loss.
Vihanga Nimsara and Rasindu Ilukshana were the heroes for Moratu Vidyalaya as their half-centuries helped them score 249 runs against St. Sylvester’s at Boyagane.
At Galle: Mahinda 127, St. Joseph’s 132/4
127 all out in 57 overs (Ranmina Hettiarachchi 33, Chandupa de Silva 29; Lahiru Amarasekara 5/34, Muditha Dissanayaka 2/23, Yenula Dewtusa 3/32)
132 for 4 in 42.1 overs (Sadeesh Jayawardena 53, Naren Muralidaran 41; Shehan Hasaranga 2/39)
At Welisara: Maris Stella 268, Trinity 9/0
268 all out in 93.5 overs (Kaveen Fernando 26, Shean Adithya 83, Anshen de Silva 28, Ramith Bandara 33, Nethum Basnayake 26, Levin Fernando 22; Jayavi Liyanagama 2/40, Dinuka Tennakoon 5/74)
Trinity 9 for no loss in 4 overs
At Boyagane: Moratu Vidyalaya 249, St. Sylvester’s 5/1
249 all out in 93.1 overs (Vihanga Nimsara 82, Rasindu Ilukshana 54; Isuru Gunasekara 2/28, Pansilu Bandara 2/50, Akila Wickramasinghe 3/48, Khanka Wickramasinghe 2/31)
5 for 1 in 4 overs.
Sowmiya clinches a triple crown, Silvijan bags a double
Northern Badminton Championship 2023
T. Silvijan Dalima was crowned men’s singles champion while S. Sowmiya clinched a triple crown at the Northern Badminton Championship 2023 in Kilinochchi during the weekend.
At the Provincial Indoor Stadium in Kilinochchi, Silvijan met K Thusan in the final clash in which the latter retired in the second set with scores reading 21-14, 16-11 in favour of the champion. L Hentry and K Kajan were the losing semi-finalists.
Meanwhile, S. Sowmiya won all three of her open events, the women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles with respective partners.
Sowmiya clinched the women’s singles crown with a 21-15, 21-13 win over R. Ragavi in the final following her doubles title win with B. Oliviya. Sowmiya and Oliviya overcame Athmika and M. Kavinaya 21-9, 21-15 to seal the women’s doubles crown.
Earlier, Sowmiya and Silvijan, the best singles duo in the tournament, also won the mixed doubles title by defeating R. Sulacsan and S . Thanojana 21-12, 21-16 in the final.
The men’s doubles final was won by L. R. Reminsan and T. Thusyanthan who beat G. Thanukanth and R. Yuthakaran with a 21-13, 21-9 score line.
The tournament, organised by the Northern Province Badminton Association, was conducted under the guidance of Sri Lanka Badminton (SLB). SLB President Rohan de Silva and a host of top officials were among the special guests at the presentation ceremony.
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