Reversal in Sri Lanka on Cricket Board dismissal - Image: SLC

The Sports Minister of Sri Lanka today overturned the dismissal of the country's Cricket Board on corruption allegations, in an effort to end its suspension by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The decision was taken by the Member of Parliament and current Minister of Tourism and Lands, as well as Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Harin Fernando, who paved the way for the ICC to lift the sanctions imposed in a timely manner.

It should be noted that the sanction imposed on the Board was due to the failure to prevent "governmental interference" in the administration of the game.

"I signed a gazette to revoke the decision to appoint an interim committee for Sri Lanka cricket, with the aim of lifting our suspension from the ICC," posted the 45-year-old politician Harin Fernando on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

Fernando also stated that he had requested the "observations" of the ICC on an audit report on alleged corruption by the board during last year's T20 World Cup in Australia.

Fernando's predecessor, Roshan Ranasinghe, dismissed the elected board in November after accusing officials of serious corruption, an accusation they have denied and are challenging in court. In response, the ICC had suspended Sri Lanka, arguing that the board had failed to prevent political interference, which is penalized.

The controversy over corruption in the Board, the wealthiest sports body in a nation plagued by deep economic and political problems for years, led to the dismissal of Ranasinghe at the end of last month.

It is worth noting that Ranasinghe had disagreed with President Ranil Wickremesinghe on the administration of cricket in Sri Lanka, refusing to comply with demands to revoke the board's dismissal.

The former British colony, Sri Lanka, is a South Asian country historically plagued by corruption (ranking 101 according to the Transparency International website), political and economic problems, shortages, and rampant inflation, leading to very weak institutions. Unfortunately, this suspension by the ICC in the past due to constant political interference has caused them to lose the opportunity to host the Under-19 World Cup, which had to be moved to Africa (South Africa), resulting in losses estimated at around nearly two and a half million dollars, money that was intended for venue preparations.