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Sanga: boards should be free

 

Kumar Sangakkara has welcomed the International Cricket Council (ICC) directive requiring all national cricket control boards to be elected without political interference.

Sanga: boards should be free

 

 
LONDON (AFP) – Former Sri Lankan cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara has welcomed the International Cricket Council (ICC) directive requiring all national cricket control boards to be elected without political interference.
 
His call came just days after Sri Lanka's sports minister said he had forced the Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee to step down following allegations of financial mismanagement. Sri Lanka co-hosted the 2011 World Cup and was left with a US$69 million bill, with media reports suggesting that mismanagement by Sri Lanka Cricket had been responsible for cost over-runs.
 
“We have to aspire to better administration,” Sangakkara said in his Cowdrey lecture on the Spirit of Cricket.“The administration needs to adopt the same values enshrined by the team over the years -- integrity, transparency, commitment and discipline,” said Sangakkara, the first playing cricketer to deliver this prestigious lecture at the MCC headquarters at Lords on Monday night.
 
On Sunday Sangakkara played at Lord's in the Sri Lanka side that beat England by six wickets in the third one-day international and enable Sri Lanka to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match serious.“Unless the administration is capable of becoming more professional, forward-thinking and transparent then we risk alienating the common man,” Sangakkara who stepped down as Sri Lanka captain after April’s World Cup final in Mumbai said.
 
“Indeed, this is already happening. Loyal fans are becoming increasingly disillusioned... It is their passion that powers cricket and if they turn their backs on cricket then the whole system will come crashing down. The solution to this may be the ICC taking a stand to suspend member boards with any direct detrimental political interference and allegations of corruption and mismanagement.
 
“This will negate the ability to field representative teams or receive funding and other accompanying benefits from the ICC. But as a Sri Lankan I hope we have the strength to find the answers ourselves,” Sangakkara said. There was a controversial start to the one-day series -- where Sri Lanka is in front with a 2-1 lead and two matches to go -- when veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya, now an MP in Sri Lanka's governing party, was allowed to play at The Oval as opener, which the tourists lost, as a final match before his retirement despite having been out of the team for nearly two years prior to the tour of England.
 
Last week the ICC gave all member boards until its next meeting in June next year to implement the new ruling and a further 12 months till June 2013 -- before any sanctions will be considered.
 
The lecture was inaugurated in 2001 in memory of the late former England captain Colin Cowdrey. MCC -- Marylebone Cricket Club -- owns Lord's, the self-styled 'home of cricket' in north-west London.

Minister demands report;  Navin says speech was fine
 
Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has instructed Mr. Upali Dharmadasa, the new Chairman of the Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee, to submit his observations on the speech delivered by Kumar Sangakkara for the ‘2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture’ at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, the Sports Ministry said yesterday . A report was called for by the minister as Sangakkara had allegedly criticised the sports administration in Sri Lanka, which is subject to the sports law of the country, according to a ministry statement.
 
Meanwhile, Public Management Reforms Minister Navin Dissanayake told that Sangakkara’s speech had brought honour and dignity to Sri Lanka.
 
(DM)
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