The Minister of Sports, through the Attorney General, informed the Court of Appeal today that an independent panel of governance experts will be appointed in order to draft a new constitution for Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
Additional Solicitor General Sumathi Dharmawardena PC and State Counsel Rajika Aluwihare, appearing for the Sports Minister, made these remarks when the writ petition filed by a group of prominent individuals, including former professional cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan, was taken up for hearing before the Court of Appeal.
ASG Dharmawardena told the court that the drafting of the new constitution will be done with the assistance and expert advice of the Technical Committee of the International Cricket Council.
Dharmawardena said in a letter addressed to the Attorney General on August 30, 2022, that the Sports Minister had informed him that he would take steps to amend the Sports Law by appointing a panel of experts with due instructions to submit to him an appropriate draft that would cover cricket as well.
President’s Counsel Sanjeeva Jayawardena, with Counsel Dr. Milhan Mohomed appearing for the petitioners, sought a further date to inform their stance regarding the petition in view of the action taken by the respondents. The petition was fixed for February 28 in order to evaluate the progress.
The Court was informed that following the discussion held on September 22, 2022, with the Attorney General, the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, and the Chairman of the National Sports Council, it was decided to take the necessary steps to amend Sports Regulation No. 1 of 2016 to incorporate a new regulation that will make it mandatory for National Sports Associations (NSAs) to amend their respective constitutions to reflect the following matters:
(1). To introduce a criterion to grade clubs, associations, and other organizations affiliated with NSAs that have the right to vote.
(2). To introduce the voting structure for the said categorized clubs, associations, and other organizations affiliated with the NSA.
(3). The Director General of Sports grades the clubs, associations, and other organizations affiliated with the NSA 90 days before elections to elect NSA office bearers.
The petitioners in this petition are Muttiah Muralitharan, Kushil Gunasekera, Sidath Wettimuny, Michael Tissera, Justice (Retd) Saleem Marsoof PC, Dinal Phillips PC, Rienzie Wijetilleke, Thilan Wijesinghe, Vijaya Malalasekera, Ana Punchihewa, Somasundaram Skandakumar, and Dr. Palitha Kohona.
The petitioners said they are expecting to form an independent committee of governance experts to draft a brand new constitution for the SLC with input from the International Cricket Council (ICC). “We also wish to have this new Constitution passed as an Act of Parliament to avoid any dilution or compromises at the hands of vested interests,” the petitioners said.