Sports News

Mathivanan camp withdraws from SLC election: We feel that our attempts will come to naught

Kangadaran Mathivanan withdrew from SLC AGM yesterday (18)

With less than two 48 hours to go for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the rival camp of the previous SLC executive committee under Shammi Silva, which was headed by Kangadaran Mathivanan and also featuring former SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga and Sri Lanka’s first Test Captain Bandula Warnapura –who were to contest as Secretary and Vice President respectively– withdrew from the contest last afternoon.

“It has been spoken of and admitted that the bane of Sri Lanka cricket politics has been its overwhelming overload of stakeholder votes, resulting in vote buying and other acts of omission which does not cater to a level playing field for anyone coming forward with a will to change the system… We therefore feel that our attempts will come to naught and, in these unfortunate circumstances, we are reluctantly compelled to withdraw from the said election,” the three officials had written to the SLC Election Committee, also copying the same letter to the media.

Here is the full letter:

It was with a sense of optimism, enthusiasm, and expectations that the three of us, Messrs K. Mathivanan, Bandula Warnapurea and Nishantha Ranatunga decided to contest for the posts of Hony. President, Hony. Vice President and Hony. Secretary respectively, at the forthcoming Sri Lanka Cricket election of office bearers to be held on 20th May 2021.

This sense of optimism was fuelled by the prevalent situation where an esteemed organisation like Sri Lanka Cricket had degenerated into what it is today, since the heady days of our World Cup victory in 1996 and subsequently the status of our position in ICC Rankings with our achievements of becoming the World Cup Runners Up in 2011, World T20 Runners Up in 2012 and Champions in 2014 during the tenure of Mr. Mahindananda Aluthgamage as the Minister of Sports, guided by His Excellency Mahinda Rajapakse as the President of our country. All three of us have been involved in one way or another in the past administration of this prestigious sports organisation and we felt the need to revive it to its former glory in its performance and administrative ability.

Sri Lanka Cricket now languishes at the bottom of the ICC rankings in all three formats of the game, not least clue to the maladministration and chicanery of its incumbent office bearers. The SLC finances and administration are in disarray, with dishonest officials even being unable to prevent its TV revenue funds being diverted to foreign bank accounts.

Ultimately, the players have had to forego large portions of their contractual income due to these shortcomings in the administration. Several attempts on our part to highlight these shortcomings have been summarily brushed aside by the various committees appointed supposedly on trust to discharge their duties impartially but that impartiality and trust being sadly misplaced.

A very serious lapse by way of delayed submission of annual Accounts and not having obtained the Auditor General’s approval as required by the Constitution, has been disregarded by the authorities, a major cause of concern in the upholding of trust and impartiality.

Their misdeeds have been highlighted even by the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) which has castigated its performance as being unworthy of a proper administration.

It has been spoken of and admitted that the bane of Sri Lanka cricket politics has been its overwhelming overload of stakeholder votes, resulting in vote buying and other acts of omission which does not cater to a level playing field for anyone coming forward with a will to change the system. This system, which many in authority have vowed to change, is in fact further encouraged by not taking effective measured to curb it.

We therefore feel that our attempts will come to naught and in these unfortunate circumstances, we are reluctantly compelled to withdraw from the said election.