Sports ministry slow to act on former SL players' report

Aravinda de Silva and Kumar Sangakkara arrive at a press conference AFP

The five-member committee featuring the likes of Aravinda de Silva, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara has made its recommendations on a revamp of domestic cricket to the Sports Ministry, but the minister has not set any changes in motion so far.

The committee handed over its report to the Sports Ministry in mid-December, and has not heard from the ministry since.

According to sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekara, he must first "chat with the cricket board" before any changes are imposed. What those changes might be, the ministry is not willing to say. The ministry has also instructed committee members to withhold their recommendations from the public, for now.

It is understood, however, that the committee's plan for domestic cricket features a provincial cricket system that aims to organically develop talent outside the main centres. Presently, it is Sri Lanka's big-city schools that supply the national team with the majority of its players. It has long been suggested that Sri Lanka must tap into rural talent more effectively, with a particular emphasis on bringing the island's northern and eastern provinces more meaningfully into the fold.

The sports minister appointed the committee - headed by former SLC president Hemaka Amarasuriya - in October, to much media fanfare. Its inaction since the report has been handed over, however, raises concerns over whether anything will result from the exercise. Sri Lankan cricket has a brief history of announcing high-profile inquiries, yet failing to adopt any recommendations that result. In 2013, virtually none of Haroon Lorgat's recommendations to SLC - unambitious though they were - were put into operation.

Meanwhile, Amarasuriya's committee is working on a second report - this one focusing on the overhaul of SLC's governance system.