Sri Lanka elects cricket board uncontested
By AFP | January 3, 2011
Backed by the government, Upali Dharmadasa and Nishantha Ranatunga appointed president and secretary of SLC as expected. © AFP/Ishara S. KODIKARA.
COLOMBO — Sri Lanka's national cricket board was elected uncontested on Tuesday amid allegations that political pressure had forced favourites to withdraw from the first election in seven years.
The election was called by the government to ensure the island was in line with an International Cricket Council (ICC) directive requiring all national boards to be independently voted in by June 2012.
The ICC had taken exception to the "interim committees" which managed Sri Lankan cricket and were often seen as politically-appointed bodies.
Businessman Upali Dharmadasa became president of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) unopposed as front-runner Thilanga Sumathipala withdrew at the last minute.
"Thilanga was hoping to lead SLC, but he did not have the blessings of the government and without that he did not want to be a candidate," a source close to him told AFP.
Sri Lanka Cricket is facing a severe financial crisis over the cost of co-hosting the 2011 World Cup, with many players complaining of unpaid salaries in recent months.
"Upali Dharmadasa was elected President of SLC uncontested," an official told reporters outside the SLC building in Colombo.