Sri Lanka was kicked out of the International Cricket Council (ICC) because of claimed political meddling in the local board. On Saturday, the country’s sports minister said he would challenge the decision.
It was “illegal” for the world’s governing body to move against his country on Friday night, Roshan Ranasinghe said. He would take the matter to the ICC’s Dispute Resolution Committee.
“Sri Lanka’s suspension by the ICC is against the law.” “They suspended us without giving us a chance to respond to the claim,” Ranasinghe told reporters in Colombo, the country’s capital.
He said the ICC had said there was “political interference” in Sri Lanka Cricket, which is the elected group that runs cricket in the country, but they hadn’t said what they were charging.
“First, we must have the charges and then an opportunity to respond,” he said.
“If we fail to get redress from the DRC, we will go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.”
The ICC said on Friday that Sri Lanka Cricket was “seriously breaching its obligations as a member.” They said that Sri Lanka Cricket “must manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government interference.”
The ban came a day after Ranasinghe said the board had stolen millions of dollars, which led Sri Lanka’s government to ask the board to step down.
It said in a short statement that the ICC board would decide on the ban terms later.
It wasn’t clear right away if the permanent ban would effect Sri Lanka’s plans to host the Under-19 World Cup in January.
As a result of the ban, the local board said Sri Lanka would lose a $2.4 million grant from the ICC that was meant to be used to improve local grounds.
After Sri Lanka’s embarrassing loss to India in the World Cup last week, things really got bad with the cricket board, which is the biggest sports body in the bankrupt island country.
On Thursday, Parliament asked Sri Lanka Cricket’s elected board members to quit unanimously, saying they were crooked in a way that had never been seen before.
The board is now in court because the sports minister fired it on Monday, but the Court of Appeal put it back together the next day until a hearing in two weeks.
The ICC has rules that say politicians can’t get involved, and Sri Lanka has been banned from the court before.