ICC revamp February 5, 2014

SLC confirms opposition to ICC revamp plans

Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed its staunch opposition of the ICC's proposed revamp, after a special meeting of the board's stakeholders voted unanimously against the revised proposals presented to the ICC directors. The board had also advice from legal experts, who had surmised that the draft resolutions were in direct conflict with the principles upon which the ICC had been founded.

All present at the meeting featuring "stakeholders, past captains, past presidents and secretaries of SLC and the sports ministry representative" as well as the board's executive committee had been "in unanimous agreement with the decision taken by the executive committee - to oppose the revised proposals," an official release said.

Former players Aravinda de Silva, Anura Tennekoon, Ranjit Fernando and Michael Tissera had been at the meeting, in addition to selectors Sanath Jayasuriya and Hashan Tillakaratne. Past presidents Thilanga Sumathipala and Vijaya Mallasekara had also attended, as well as a host of administrators not currently holding positions at SLC. Arjuna Ranatunga was not present, but he had already slammed the revamp in public.

The sports ministry declined to take an official stance on the proposals, but SLC's decision is believed to have been energised by political support from the nation's government. Most of SLC's debt is owed to the state-owned Bank of Ceylon.

Sri Lanka had applied for an $8 million interest-free loan from the ICC before the position paper was unveiled, and this had been among the issues held over their head by the Big Three boards at the Dubai meeting. Other threats had also been delivered, many of which were relayed to SLC's membership at various meetings over the past week.

"When those details came to us, we had all been extremely surprised at how much pressure was being put on SLC by the big boards," an SLC member, who has held past office at the board, said. "We didn't think [the Big Three] would go to such lengths. In a way that made everyone even more keen to refuse these proposals, on principle."

Among the legal objections, which had also helped consolidate SLC's stance, was the view that the concentration of power at the ICC contravened an article in the ICC's Memorandum of Association. This document states one of the objects for which the ICC was formed is to "administer, develop, co-ordinate, regulate and promote the game of Cricket world-wide in co-operation with its Members".

SLC's lawyers had also cast doubt on the authority of the Finance & Commercial Affairs Committee to suggest such sweeping changes. They also noted, among the position paper's conflicts of interest, that the same bodies responsible for suggesting the proposals stand to gain most from them.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here