Sri Lanka Cricket is currently run by an interim committee appointed by the Sports Minister and this is not the first time it has happened. Whenever an elected body has functioned it has resulted in them getting themselves involved in some kind of shady dealings or corruption charges or financial mismanagements that have forced the government to interfere and appoint an interim committee to put things back on track.
We had the first interim committee in 1999 and since then there has been quite a number of similar committee appointed time and again for the reasons we have stated above. This game has gone on for too long that it needs a fixed solution.
One way of doing it is to reduce the number of member clubs and associations who are eligible to vote.Sri Lanka compared to other cricketing nations is a small country but like their Parliament has too large a vote base which is unmanageable.
Of the 140 odd who are eligible to vote some clubs you don’t know whether they are actively playing cricket or there for their namesake. These clubs have either one vote each or two which is unfair by established clubs.
When you have so many votes the individuals when they come to get elected have to use their influence to buy or promise positions or extend favours to get the required votes. Basically it is like taking the general election route path which is not healthy because at the end of the day you don’t provide the need, you provide only the support base and there is no need for priority to be looked at. It’s more like a provincial council election where and one is fighting the other and when you come up there is another side to bowl you out.
According to the existing system it allows for factions to come in because of the large number of votes and for these factions there are various affiliated people in groups. They also take a lot of time to understand the new group that has come in either they may like you or they may not want you. A lot of information is half baked and a lot of time is lost over such frivolous issues that all these things lead towards the downfall of cricket rather than speed up and accelerate.
The administration is also unstable because they don’t know whom to support and there are people who had voted for the other camp and who have lost thinking about their positions while cricket comes to a standstill. It’s like the two leading political parties in the country.
The whole factor here is that the administrators who come into power are money-minded they look for every opportunity where they can make a fast buck. They are bleeding out the hard earned money the cricketer bring in by not using it for the development of the game but by putting it into their own pockets. It is simply not the way forward for Sri Lanka Cricket.
For example the Pakistan Cricket Board has apparently reduced its votes down to just 10 from over 100. They have found a system to bring it down. India with such a large population has some 40 odd votes and it is straight forward.
To change the constitution you’ve got to get two-third majority from the membership and the Sports Law to do it. The change if at all has to come through the Sports Law because there is no way you can get the membership to vote for the change because there will be interested parties preventing the member clubs and associations from doing it.
If such a change is not possible the only other way out is for the government to install a non-political board like the board of governors or board of trustees who can sit on top and question the directions Sri Lanka Cricket administration is taking.
This board should comprise people who know the cricket structure very well – people like those in the interim committee who have worked there before and cannot be fooled, people who are competent, efficient, honest and full of integrity and have a passion for the game, former office bearers who have been in the thick and thin of this whole thing and know what it is and, along with them financial people as well who can work the numbers.
The election can go ahead as usual with the buying of votes etc, etc but when they run the administration they are answerable to the board of governors who can check mate them on their dealings or decisions.
The two solutions are is to either change the constitution and reduce the number of voting club to a minimum like the model in Pakistan or the other option is have a board of governors to oversee the administration and ensure that it doesn’t go out of control. The latter system looks more viable than trying to change the constitution and the Sports Law.