Dharmadasa lauds new-found unity January 14, 2007

SLC's interim committee set for the long haul

'If you take the national team we had a fear of going out and winning but it's no more now. Our results in England and New Zealand prove that' - Dharmadasa © Getty Images

Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) interim committee administration under entrepreneur Jayantha Dharmadasa has been in office for nearly two years. Reviewing the work done by the interim committee in the past 21 months, Dharmadasa said he was happy the way things had gone. He said that along with head coach Tom Moody and the cricket committee, the interim committee members had got together and worked as a team with each individual doing his part.

"Our interest has been the development of the game. We have put a system in place and whoever is administering cricket in this country the others should support them.

"The results of our endeavours will be there in another year or two, not now. If you take the national team we had a fear of going out and winning but it's no more now. Our results in England and New Zealand prove that. The team is performing very well. The team management and the players should take the full credit. They have done marvellously well. Even with Mahela, Marvan, Tharanga and Dilshan not scoring they are still winning," said Dharmadasa.

"We are eyeing the World Cup and all our planning and energies have been directed towards it. I hope we can win it," he added.

One of the major issues Dharmadasa had to tackle aftet the interim committee took over was to win back the confidence of the ICC which had been damaged by the action of a former SLC president. The latter had brought upon the ire of the ICC membership when he had voted against an extension for former ICC president Ishan Mani for another year when all the other nine full members had voted in favour.

"When I went to the ICC meeting their director board did not have any trust or faith with Sri Lanka Cricket because one of our former presidents had gone and messed up our relationship with them," said Dharmadasa.

"With a lot of public relations work and good decision-making I have managed to get the ICC together and support us. Whatever we have asked for they have given. When the issue of hosting the 2011 World Cup came up, with all the problems in the country Sri Lanka was given a chance to host it. That shows that the ICC had the fullest confidence in Sri Lanka cricket and its administrators."

While fully supporting the nomination of the Indian board president Sharad Pawar as the next ICC president, Dharmadasa said that Sri Lanka would have a very good case of vying for the post should Pawar, who is reportedly not in the best of health, is unable to contest the elections in another two or three years. Percy Sonn succeeded Ishan Mani to the post in July last year and can remain uncontested for two years and even extend it to three if the ICC members agree.

"It is too early for all these things to happen. We should not be talking about it now. I have raised this question at the ICC," said Dharmadasa who is also Asian Cricket Council (ACC) president and member of the ICC Finance Committee..

Speaking of Sri Lanka's support for Pawar, Dharmadasa said: "Although Pawar is not a cricketer he is a top class administrator. I have worked with him at most ICC director board meetings and his decision making is first-class. He is the most suitable person to be the next president of the ICC. He is very powerful in India. When you are powerful in India you are powerful in rest of the world. As I see it there will be no contest for the presidency." England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman David Morgan is the other candidate running for the post.