Sri Lanka news January 3, 2016

Thilanga Sumathipala elected SLC president

The 80 votes he garnered were insufficient to get Arjuna Ranatunga elected to the vice-president posts © AFP

Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga and his brother, Nishantha, suffered defeats in the Sri Lanka Cricket elections, which were held on Sunday. Thilanga Sumathipala, Sri Lanka's deputy speaker of parliament, beat Nishantha for the post of SLC president, while Arjuna lost the race for the vice-president spots. The elections were dominated by Sumathipala's group as all their candidates were also elected to their respective posts.

Sumathipala, who has served as SLC president in the past, garnered 88 votes on Sunday against Nishantha's 56. Meanwhile, Arjuna, who led Sri Lanka to a World Cup win in 1996, was one of four contestants for the two vice-president posts. The 80 votes he received, however, were insufficient to guarantee a victory, and Jayantha Dharmadasa (102 votes) and K Mathivanan (90 votes) were elected instead. A fourth contestant Asanga Seneviratne received 18 votes.

The secretary's post went to Mohan de Silva, a former SLC president, who was elected unopposed after rival candidate Hirantha Perera withdrew.

Colombo Cricket Club president Shammi Silva received the highest votes at the election, garnering 115 votes to defeat Easman Narangoda (28 votes) for the post of treasurer.

Ravin Wickremaratne, former Panadura Sports Club fast bowler, received 113 votes and was elected assistant secretary. He beat former Sri Lanka fast bowler Nilantha Ratnayake by 80 votes.

Lalith Rambukwella received 108 votes and was elected assistant treasurer, over Nihal Lewke who managed only 36 votes. Two other contestants for the post, Aruna de Silva and Sujeewa Lokuhewa, withdrew.

"Our first priority is the national team and to appoint a national coach," Sumathipala said after the election. "Everything else like development and domestic structures can wait but the national team cannot. We are already behind schedule and we have wasted a lot of time, energy and efforts.

"It has been a long journey for all of us to be together. I am glad that the entire committee whom we had proposed got duly elected and we are one big team going to give the leadership to transform Sri Lanka cricket to the next level.

"In the past 10 years, there have been interim committees appointed to run cricket in the country time and again. We need put an end to interim committees and have elected bodies running cricket. Even the ICC does not recognized interim committees. We must thank the minister of sport for preparing the groundwork to hold this election."

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