Colombo: In a surprising development, Sri Lanka"s government-appointed cricket board headed by Arjuna Rantunga was dissolved on Tuesday, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said.
“Minister of sports and public recreation Gamini Lokuge has dissolved the SLC interim committee with immediate effect," a media statement said.
Ranatunga, Sri Lanka"s 1996 World Cup-winning captain, was appointed chairman of SLC in January. Sports ministry secretary S. Liyanagama has been appointed to oversee the day-to-day affairs of the cricket administration until a new management committee is installed.
Lokuge has the option of calling board elections or appointing a fresh government-controlled interim committee.
“We will take a decision within a week," Lokuge said.
“Arjuna Ranatunga has not been co-operating with the company or the players. We tried to sort it out but could not and he has been removed," Lokuge said.
“My permanent secretary in the ministry Liyanagama will be the competent authority till further notice," he said.
Lokuge said the present arrangement was likely to continue for one or two weeks after which a new committee will be appointed either through elections or otherwise.
According to informed sources, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has invited Ranatunga for a meeting.
SLC sources said Ranatunga and Lokuge have been having differences for some time and that it had snowballed into removal of the former World Cup-winning captain.
The nine-member interim committee was also dissolved, including SLC secretary K. Mathivanan and another former captain Aravinda D"Silva.