Bookmaker and Reporters Appointment to Sri Lanka Cricket’s New Interim Commitee is Illegal

The appointment of Somachandra De Silva, Nishantha Ranatunga, and Ranil Abeynayake in a seven-member interim committee to run Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) appears to contravene Sri Lankan Sports Law.

The laws state clearly that in Sri Lanka any person directly or indirectly involved in carrying out the business of gaming, including gambling and horse racing, shall be disqualified from being elected, or other wise to hold or continue to hold any paid or unpaid office, or as a member of a committee of any national association, or as a nominee of an affiliate club or organization in a national association.

In a hard hitting piece Lal Gunesekera of the Sunday Leader exposes Somachandra De Silva’s close family ties with Sri Lanka’s biggest Bookmakers.

Caught in the middle of all this is curator turned commentator Ranil Abeynayake.

Where Abeynaike is concerned, he comes under the microscope of the Gazette of April 21, 2005 which states in Regulation (1) (d) that a person cannot hold office of any national association if "he is a professional reporter."

Abeynaike is not only a TV cricket commentator, but also contributes to a regular column in a Sunday newspaper.

Nishan Ranatunga, a younger brother of the previous chairman of the IC for SLS, the 1996 world cup winning captain, Arjuna, has been appointed as the secretary. The younger Ranatunga sibling was employed at Union Assurance and Mobitel and gave up under "strange" circumstances. He also served as Director General of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC).

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