By Gavin Van Hoff (islandcricket.lk/blogs/gavin)
When first appointed in May this year Sri Lanka’s sports minster created the impression that he was going to clean things up in a corrupt institution. In fact, CB Ratnayake made big changes in his very first week.
Ratnayake sacked the existing selection panel and appointed Aravinda de Silva as chief selector replacing Ashantha de Mel.
He then publicly labelled Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) a corrupt institution, but shortly after instead of sacking those in charge, he extended Somchandra de Silva’s tenure as chairman and also allowed the controversial Nishantha Ranatunga to remain as secretary of the interim committee that runs Sri Lanka Cricket.
Ratnayake basically back-peddled and left many wondering why.
“What we realised was that rather than changing individuals of the Interim Committee close to the World Cup we wanted to finalise the preparations to the three venues and for that we needed the expertise of the current heads of the interim committee,” Ratnayake told the Lakbima newspaper in Sri Lanka explaining why he had not made drastic changes to the interim committee.
“I do not want to be accused, charged or even alleged to have rocked the cricketing boat by removing heads of the interim committee so near to a tournament as important as the World Cup.”
The sports minister urged the media to be patient suggesting he would tackle corruption and corrupt individuals at SLC after the world cup.
“My prime concern as of now is providing the necessary structure to the national team to excel and even exceed the expectations of over 20 million people of this country at the 2011 World Cup,” the sports minister insisted.
The minister also said that he was in favour of allowing the clubs (eg: SSC, NCC, etc) to vote for positions within Sri Lanka Cricket as was the norm before the government intervened appointing a non elected interim committee.
“Interim Committees are never permanent and that is the very meaning of the words as well.
“All interim committees have to be dispensed with, but the biggest stumbling block to it is my reluctance to shake the cricketing boat ahead of the World Cup. We’ll see how things pan out after the World Cup.”
This article first appeared on Island Cricket on August 26, 2010. It is republished here with permission from the source.