Sri Lanka news December 20, 2015

Wettimuny urges change in SLC constitution

Sidath Wettimuny: "To have served in seven interim committees within a span of 14 years shows that there is a flaw in the system." © AFP

Outgoing interim committee chairman Sidath Wettimuny has called for a change to Sri Lanka Cricket's constitution in order to bring in greater accountability.

Wettimuny heads a nine-member interim committee that will be dissolved by the end of the month before the board elections on January 3. Wettimuny, who has been a part of several interim committees in the past, said the presence of seven such committees in the last 14 years indicated a flaw in the system. He further suggested that SLC would need to change its constitution through an act of Parliament and not by membership.

"As you can see in the media there is absolute chaos about elections and constitutions. The Attorney General is saying the constitution is flawed. My thinking is until we change the Sri Lanka Cricket constitution nothing will work," Wettimuny said. "To have served in seven interim committees within a span of 14 years shows that there is a flaw in the system.

"This has been an ongoing process. We need a constitution which has more accountability and transparency. Until that is done and you bring something proper nothing will happen.

"The only way out for Sri Lanka Cricket is to change the constitution by an act of Parliament, not by membership because you will never get the required two-thirds majority."

Wettimuny also raised the issue of accountability in terms of SLC's financial dealings with stakeholders.

"In December last year, Rs. 250 million was doled out to stakeholders. Does the SLC have any accountability what was being done with this huge volume of money? I am told a vote is going at half a million," he said. "I don't know whether this is true. But how can you run a set-up like this?

"When we take over and run Sri Lanka Cricket, we run it with no interest in a vote. We have taken impartial decisions without political affiliations. You can look at it from whichever side, what we have done in these last eight months I don't think anyone has done in the last 15 years. If you analyse that's the truth. You'll have to ask yourself will it be done under normal circumstances."

Wettimuny said that he had proposed a draft constitution and handed it to the Sports Minister for further action.

The nine-member interim committee headed by Wettimuny came into effect in April this year, and was appointed by the former sports minister Navin Dissanayake.

The committee was established because the posts held by the office bearers had become null and void. The laws governing all sports bodies in the country require annual elections to be held on or before March 31. SLC's elections, however, were postponed until the end of April due to the World Cup, which ended on March 29.

Wettimuny said the committee had addressed issues on the administrative and cricketing front. Wettimuny also stated the committee had made sure the national team's dressing room was a happier place by getting the right people to do the right thing.

"If you ask the players they are happy. We are convinced the people are happy and the workforce is happy," he said. "Ladies cricket had a lot of issues but now that is under control. Even Lasith Malinga is working with the ladies cricketers at the moment helping them to try and perform better in the upcoming T20 World Cup."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sriyantha on December 24, 2015, 0:21 GMT

    Mr. Wettimuny, you may have made valuable suggestions to put a lid on the honey-pot, but sadly same cannot be said with your choices entrusted with policy making, team selections & coaching. If the right people have been appointed in those vital spots, certainly we should have seen some improvement or progress by now.

    Just look at the humiliating defeats suffered in recent 3 test series (2 on our own backyard), Odi series, T20 against every formidable opponent... due to patheticaly merit-less, unjustified team seleactions going on at a level never seen before (for longer than 2 years now).

    Sad to say, Instead of seeing some improvement in that regard (as people expected from you), unfortunately the standard had further depleated, from bad to worse in past 8 months! SL cricket had fallen to an extremely dissapointing level... even the ardent fans are begining to lose their interest.

    Thank you for at least trying to seal the jewel-chest, that attracts the termites of SL cricket...

  • Anura on December 21, 2015, 14:57 GMT

    Well done Sidath. You deserve a lot of credit for what you have done. Hope the "Powers to be" will listen to him and make necessary changes. Cricket is our national sport and it deserves better treatment. Accountability and openness in the system is very important.

  • AJ on December 21, 2015, 10:07 GMT

    Either constitution change or three people thrown out of cricket for good. Mathivanan, sumathipala and nishantha. Cricket will lookafter itself there after.

  • michael on December 20, 2015, 13:55 GMT

    Sidath you are needed in the Caribbean to sort out the mess there as well or at least one would hope the West Indies are seeing your problems. Sangakarra gave a Colin Cowdrey lecture at Lords a few years ago talking about the ills of Sri Lanka cricket since the big monies came into the game that mirror West Indies cricket. Without transparency and accountability there can be no progress and as Wettimuny says, the people involved will not change anything. No King takes the crown from his own head, No Turkey votes for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

  • mahad on December 20, 2015, 13:52 GMT

    Everyone know who is better.. And Pakistan has world best bowlers opponent is afraid of us and even Australia is afraid of us ... Every one knows Australia is far more better than India .. India can't even compare them with their shoes ... And for all other Indian commenters we have won 72 times and what about tour of 2013 lol... To the losers

  • Anil on December 20, 2015, 11:59 GMT

    Wettimuny has NOT served in 7 Interim Committees.

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