Sri Lanka news May 31, 2010

Sri Lankan sports minister slams cricket board

Cricinfo staff

Sri Lanka's sports minister, Chandrasiri Bandara Ratnayake, has called Sri Lanka Cricket the third most corrupt institution in the country, and has promised to revamp the way the game is administered, even if it means replacing the incumbent members.

Addressing a press conference in Colombo in the presence of Aravinda de Silva, the newly appointed chairman of selectors, Ratnayake said he would replace the current interim committee headed by former Test player Somachandra de Silva, next week. Ratnayake had a problem with the way finances were handled by the committee, adding that there was a lot of wastage of resources.

"The first and second are education and police. Sri Lanka Cricket is the third-most corrupt institution in the country," Ratnayake said.

Ratnayake swung in to action last week when he replaced the previous selection panel, headed by Ashantha de Mel, with the one now with Aravinda at the helm. Ranjith Fernando, Amal Silva and Shabbir Asgerally are the other members of the new panel. The outgoing panel was accused of favoritism, and Ratnayake said the new panel will not entertain any political influence.

Ratnayake said the most important target for the new panel is the World Cup in the subcontinent next year. "Aravinda has nine months to prepare and groom a squad that is capable of winning the World Cup," Ratnayake said. "We have not won the Cup since 1996, my aim is to win another title for our country."