Colombo: A crisis in Sri Lanka's cricket administration deepened on Monday with ruling party legislators calling for a Parliamentary probe into the affairs of the nation's richest sports body.A resolution by the ruling People's Alliance was published in a Parliamentary order paper calling for a financial probe into the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL).It follows the sacking of the elected board of Thilanga Sumathipala in March and the appointment of an interim panel by Sports Minister Lakshman Kiriella to run the BCCSL amid allegations of financial malpractice.The resolution, published in Monday's Parliamentary agenda, also calls for the investigation of the interim members."It has become a matter of public concern as to whether the finances of the said Board have been mismanaged by ... any one or more of its present members," the resolution said. A probe panel is yet to be named.The resolution also calls for an investigation into the awarding of television rights by the committee headed by Thilanga Sumathipala and the construction of a new international stadium.Sumathipala has denied any wrongdoing and called for an independent investigation. He has already welcomed a Parliamentary probe, saying it would give him an opportunity to expose his predecessors.The sports minister sacked Sumathipala's committee members a few days before they were due to hold their annual general meeting and elections. The minister charged that Sumathipala's panel did not give the required 30-days notice of accounts and circulated the balance sheet of the organisation only about two weeks in advance.The cricket board is currently embroiled in several court cases over the dismissal of Sumathipala's management team as well the minister's action to appoint an interim panel.Cricket sources said the decision not to play in Dambulla may be a political move to spite Sumathipala who has argued that the venue would be useful when it is the rainy season in the rest of the country.
Copyright AFP 2001