Sri Lanka will appeal over its suspension from the International Cricket Council (ICC) following the national team’s exit from the World Cup.
The ICC, the sport’s governing body, suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) membership with immediate effect on Friday, citing government interference in cricket in the country.
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Sport moved to dismiss the SLC board and replace it with an interim committee in the wake of the country’s poor World Cup performance, but the country’s Court of Appeal has put that move on hold.
In addition, the parliament in Colombo last Thursday unanimously adopted a proposal to remove the SLC leadership.
Speaking on Saturday, Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe denied that there was political interference in the running of Sri Lankan cricket, however, and said the ICC move had been made without any consultation.
“This is not the way. When ICC or any other body apply a ban they have a long procedure… but this was a surprise, and it is not ethical,” he told reporters.
“How can they condemn our country like this?”
SLC officials separately denied corruption allegations and said they would work with Ranasinghe to get the ICC suspension lifted.
Sri Lanka won only two of their nine games at the World Cup. They sit ninth in the 10-team standings and are out of the competition.
Following the resignation of SLC secretary Mohan de Silva and the sacking of the board, Ranasinghe said he had replaced them with an interim committee chaired by World Cup-winning former captain Arjuna Ranatunga.
But ousted SLC president Shammi Silva went to court to fight the dismissal and has been granted a two-week stay order, with a full hearing to follow.
Earlier the ICC said 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.”