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Thursday, 28 February 2013 - 12:57
Is Thilanga Sumathipala suitable for the post of Chairman of SLC ?
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Nishantha Ranatunga today handed over his nomination for the post of secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket.

Thilanga Sumathipala, meanwhile, had handed over his nomination for the post of chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket which caused a stir as his qualifications with regard to the post has been heavily scrutinized.

Following the amendments made to clause 15 of the sports act Thilanga Sumathipala cannot tender a nomination for Sri Lanka Cricket elections based on laws and regulations stated in 3 sub clauses.

The first sub clause states that any individual who is a journalist in the print media or an individual who owns such a media network cannot contest for an election of Sri Lanka Cricket.

However, the Sumathi Group of Companies, of which Thilanga Sumathipala is the managing director, prints and publishes a number of sinhala news papers at national level.

The 2nd sub clause states that any individual who directly or by proxy, produces, stores, sells or distributes equipment other paraphernalia related to that sport, that individual cannot contest for an election of Sri Lanka Cricket.

However, Thilanga Sumathipala owns shares in the business of importing and selling world renowned Kookaburra cricket equipment.

The other sub clause under clause 15 of the sports act clearly states that any individual directly or indirectly involved in gambling activities cannot contest for an election of Sri Lanka Cricket.

However, the family members of Thilanga Sumathipala are directly connected to the gambling industry on a business level.

These are the reasons behind the severe scrutiny of Thilanga Sumathipala's nomination for the post of Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket, especially as it violates the sports laws of the country.

Minister of sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage issued a statement on the 17th of January, which clearly stated that anyone connected to the media or gambling cannot be nominated for the SLC election.

Cricket experts and analysts also state that if Thilanga Sumathipala is elected as chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket, it will lead not only to local issues, but also international issues.

Sri Lanka Cricket faced numerous issues with regard to the International Cricket Council as a result of Thilanga Sumathipala's actions.

During the period of 2000 - 2005 Thilanga Sumathipala was not allowed to take part in the ICC's Annual General Meeting due to his involvement in the gambling industry.

In 2009 Sri Lanka was awarded a medal by the ICC and Sri Lanka had nominated Thilanga Sumathipala to receive this medal, yet the ICC protested heavily to the appointment as at the time Thilanga Sumathipala was being investigated internationally for gambling related activities.

Although the investigation is not prominent as of now, if he is appointed as chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket, the investigation will be brought to the forefront and thus Sri Lanka will face severe dishonour.

According to the code of ethics of Sri Lanka Cricket, anyone involved in sponsoring a sport cannot hold office at the SLC.

However, it is a well known fact that a firm in which Thilanga Sumathipala is director is organizing a junior cricket tournament in Sri Lanka.

According to all these facts, if Thilanga Sumathipala is appointed as chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket, he will not be officially recognized.

Chairman of the Baduraliya Sports Club Sumith R. Perera had the following to say in this regard.

Accordingly the future reputation of Sri Lanka Cricket relies on the decision of Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.

Sources state that the committee appointed by the minister is scheduled to hand over their report regarding the nomination of Thilanga Sumathipala this afternoon.

Therefore it is the responsibility of the minister of sports to decide whether to allow Thilanga Sumathipala to contest for the post of chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket after studying the report.

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