Cricket’s governing body in Sri Lanka is among the island nation’s most dishonest institutions, the country’s new sports minister said on Monday.
Speaking on the appointment of former Sri Lankan batting great Aravinda de Silva to the post of chief selector, Minister Chandrasiri Bandara Ratnayake told reporters in Colombo that Sri Lanka’s most popular sport was outdone by only two other areas in terms of corruption.
“The first and second are education and police. Sri Lanka Cricket is the third-most corrupt institution in the country,” Ratnayake said.
Currently run by an interim committee, Sri Lanka Cricket has been dogged by financial scandals.
The minister said he would disclose the financial misdeeds in the coming weeks.
Ratnayake has promised to clean up Sri Lanka Cricket, which has grown rich through lucrative television and sponsorship deals for the country’s most popular sport.
The minister also added he would replace the current interim committee headed by former spinner Somchandra de Silva next week.
There was no immediate comment from the committee members.
Ratnayake said he would appoint a new set of administrators to prepare for the cricket World Cup that Sri Lanka will co-host with India and Bangladesh in February-April.
The minister last week sacked the national selectors headed by former cricketer Asantha de Mel and appointed a fresh panel under batting great de Silva.
“Aravinda has nine months to prepare and groom a squad that is capable of winning the World Cup,” the minister said.
“We have not won the Cup since 1996, my aim is to win another title for our country.”
The new selection panel under de Silva has two former Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsmen, Amal Silva and Ranjith Fernando, and former first-class cricketer Shabir Asgerally.