Lorgat to conduct independent review of SLC governance
Former ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat's role as special advisor to the SLC will include an independent review of its governance and recommendations to the heavily indebted board on financial management, SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga has said. All recommendations made by Lorgat in his three-month tenure will then be made public.
He will also advise the board on the structure of domestic cricket, in a year in which several major changes have already been proposed for the first-class competition.
Lorgat, a chartered accountant and experienced cricket administrator, will be given access to SLC's budget information, as the board hopes to regain fiscal stability after amassing a debt approaching $70 million since the end of the 2011 World Cup. "Finance is one of the most crucial areas at the moment," Ranatunga told ESPNcricinfo on Wednesday. "[Lorgat] can look at our budgets and see where we need to cut back and see where we need to spend, in order to improve our financial situation."
In addition, Ranatunga said SLC will provide Lorgat with information for his review on cricket governance in Sri Lanka, but only the information the board deems relevant for his purposes. Lorgat is also expected to consult with the clubs that comprise Sri Lanka's first-class competition, and provide recommendations on domestic structure, as the board moves to axe six of the 20 teams and reduce the two-tier competition to a single tier one. "It's important for Mr Lorgat to talk to the stakeholders in Sri Lanka cricket, which include the clubs, media and even the public, in order to provide a wide review," Ranatunga said.
Interviews with past and present players will also be made available to Lorgat should he require them in his review, or if he wishes to canvas opinion on how to improve the state of cricket in Sri Lanka, Ranatunga said.
An independent review on governance in Sri Lanka Cricket will be of particular interest, given that most of the current board members were elected unopposed in January amid claims of political tampering by other candidates who withdrew in protest. The elections had been forced by ICC regulations after a series of nine interim boards had controlled SLC in the seven years dating back to the last election in 2004.Both Ranatunga and current president Upali Dharmadasa served in the interim board that was dissolved to make way for the elections.
A financial review will also stoke interest after SLC failed to pay its players for eight months following the 2011 World Cup, for which two new stadiums were built and a third one renovated - causing the majority of the SLC's financial woes. Cost-cutting measures have since been implemented, but the board still had to rely on a payout from the state-owned Bank of Ceylon to pay player salaries in March.
Ranatunga said SLC approached Lorgat for the role because of his strong background in cricket and cricket administration. Lorgat played 76 first-class matches as an allrounder for Eastern Province and Traansvaal, and was a South Africa selector and administrator before serving as chief executive of the ICC from 2008 to June 2012. "I am impressed at how the present SLC administrators are acutely aware of the issues they face and they are willing to tackle these so that they can eventually administer cricket in Sri Lanka on a sound basis," Lorgat said following his appointment.
Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka