The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday suspended Sri Lanka from its full membership, citing government interference in the national cricket board.
The move came after Sri Lankan parliament on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution, calling for the sacking of the country’s cricket governing body, with both the ruling and opposition parties supporting it, PTI reported.
“The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board has suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership of the ICC with immediate effect,” said the ICC 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,” the statement added.
The parliamentary resolution was deemed sufficient grounds for the ICC’s decision, marking the first suspension of a full ICC member since Zimbabwe Cricket in 2021. The developments followed Sri Lanka’s disappointing performance in the ongoing World Cup in India, leading to managerial controversies and public criticism.
Though the ICC has termed the sanction a “suspension”, in reality it is a warning as the ICC seeks to prevent further government interference in the running of SLC. As per an ESPN update, the suspension will not have any immediate serious impact on Sri Lankan cricket. Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaign ended on Thursday and there is no cricket happening in the country until December. No ICC funds are due to go to SLC until January, the report also said. The next course of action will be decided when the ICC board meets on November 21.
Sri Lanka is scheduled to host the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup across January and February 2024.