D.S. credentials put to test at ICC

By S.R. Pathiravithana, Pic by Ranjith Perera

There is much speculation that the newly appointed Interim Committee Chairman D. S. de Silva’s credentials could be challenged at the April 17 ICC directors meeting in Dubai because of his links with the gaming industry.

It is believed that several local cricket personalities and clubs have written to the ICC and inquired about of the eligibility of de Silva sitting at the ICC directors’ meeting because of his links with the gaming industry.

At a recent news conference, de Silva admitted that he had family connections with people in the gaming industry. De Silva was also a one-time employee of a betting firm.

IC Chairman D.S. de Silva (left) is facing some turbulent times at present.

It is also learned that these protesters are moving to make representations to Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge on the issue.

The Sunday Times learns that because of these developments, Interim Committee Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga would also accompany de Silva to Dubai as a precautionary measure.

When asked, Ranatunga said, “Yes, I will accompany D.S. on this trip to Dubai. I will be going there as I also have received an invitation to attend the opening of the ICC office in Dubai on April 16. On the 17th, however, D.S. de Silva will attend the directors’ meeting while I will go on to seek possibilities of arranging some “A” team and development squad tours with other Test playing nations as you know there have been no tours in this periphery of cricket during the past one-and-a-half years.”

Nishantha Ranatunga’s brother, Arjuna, was the chairman of the interim committee for eleven months before de Silva took over.

Meanwhile, The Cricket Player’s Association and Sri Lanka Cricket are on the verge of signing new yearly contracts for the players.

Player’s Association secretary Graeme Labrooy told The Sunday Times, “So far we have covered more than 80% of the matters and only a few corners are left to be ironed out.

Labrooy said there would be a substantial increase in the payments for players as they had performed well in the recent past. “Anyway the contracts will be signed before the players leave for the T20 World Cup which will take place in England in June,” he said.

Sri Lanka beat high-riding India in their last Test outing that took place in Sri Lanka.

It is also reported that two experienced players who have done extremely well in the recent past have been upgraded in their ranks, while a very senior player who is in the top category is facing problems in retaining his position in the same slot.

Last year, after much haggling, the Players Association managed to strike a deal with the Arjuna Ranatunga management. In that agreement, included in the category ‘A’ that ran up a pay packet of US $ 100,000 were the then skipper Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan,
Chaminda Vaas, Sanath Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu. However one of these senior players is finding it difficult to hold on to that slot while the retired Marvan Atapattu who subsequently joined the ICL ranks has been omitted from the list.

There were no takers in the ‘B’ category that was marked at US $ 60,000, but it is reported that the two players who were elevated will now be in this slot.

The rest of the contracted players are in the ‘C’, ‘D’ and ‘E’ categories that offered US$ 45,000/-, 35,000 and 25,000/- respectively.

Selection blues: T20 team in abeyance
In addition to the prevailing uncertain situation in the cricketing circles, now there is a problem with the selection of the final 15 contingent to the T20 World Cup in June this year, though the deadline for submitting the list to the ICC is fast approaching.

The reason, according to a cricket insider, is a technical problem rather than the selectors’ inability to perform their job.

According to the insider, the letter from the Sports Ministry giving the national selectors an extension of one month to complete the selection of the T20 World Cup side is yet to reach them. As the term of the selection committee has expired technically, there is no cricket selection committee in attendance at present.

It is reported that the National Selection Committee headed by Asantha de Mel also has refused to go ahead with the selection of the national T20 because they have no official status.

According to the same source, meanwhile, the Sports Ministry has promised to get the letter of extension delivered to the selectors by April 18. The ICC wants the final list before April 30.

At the same time rumours are afoot about a move to formulate a new selection committee by a certain section of the cricket administration and get the minister to formalize it.
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