REFUTES RATNAPURA MP’S ALLEGATION & THAT HE HAD NO BACK UP AUDIT REPORT
By Srian Obeyesekere
The President of Sri Lanka Cricket, Shammi Silva, while flatly denying various allegations directed at him and his executive committee emphasised the fact that SLC revenue was not government money or public money, but membership money and that nobody had the right to question the SLC about its expenditure whereas it had been so magnanimous as to come to the rescue of the sports ministry by making handsome donations for the upkeep of other sports associations and athletes.
“This is not Government money. Some think that it is public money which is not so. This is our membership money and our membership has every right to attend world cups at SLC expense. But the fact remains that only eleven members went for the T20 World Cup in Australia at their own expenses. I must also emphasise the fact that we have been generous enough to fund other sports bodies such as the national netball team and athletic team.as well as well as doing social service in aiding cancer patients at the Apeksha Hospital,” he quipped while adding, “We are ready to reply them. If they prove anything we will resign.“
He roundly refuted the allegations by Ratnapura District Member of Parliament Hesha Withanage of gross misuse of funds at Sri Lanka Cricket and that members of the Executive Committee were using the board’s money for personal use. He alleged that the MP had not got his facts right and had no audit official report with him to back his claims. The SLC President said that he had travelled to Australia on two occasions on an ICC invitation. “We don’t get five cents from SLC as remuneration. And come on, can’t I take my own wife? he contended while going on to outline and elaborate on the gigantic volume of development work Sri Lanka Cricket had embarked on
SLC SUPPORTS OTHER SPORTS IN MILLIONS
The SLC President said so yesterday at a press conference held at the SSC auditorium attended by Hony General Secretary, Mohan de Silva, Vice President, Jayantha Dharmadasa and Chief Executive Officer, Ashley de Silva.to brief the media on the future cricket commitments. He revealed that SLC had given millions to bail out the sports ministry when the Sports Minister requested us saying, “No money.”
Also, certain failed elements were once again eyeing the pot of gold at the cricket board which is why they are trying their best to make a comeback.
CAN’T EX-FILM CORP CHIEF MINGLE WITH OWN FILM FRATERNITY?
On the allegation against Vice President, Jayantha Dharmadasa having travelled with an actress to Australia, the SLC President said,“it was an utter lie.” He went on to take a swipe at these media organisations by stating, “Jayantha Dharmadasa has been the Chairman of the National Film Corporation. So is he supposed not to hob knob with those whom he has worked with in the film fraternity, but to move with prisoners?,
He charged that despite all the spontaneous massive funding in bailing out other sports, what the SLC got in return was brickbats.
CERTAIN MEDIA TARGETTING CRICKETERS IS SIMPLY NOT CRICKET
“Another low down thing stooped to by some bad elements in the name of cricket has been targeting a particular players backed by a former captain by blacklisting him to the public to have walked out of the team hotel to attend a friends party. The fact remains that Angelo Mathews, the player in question had obtained prior permission to attend a friend’s birthday party and returned on time as per permission granted. This is a disgraceful act by these mischief mongers who are ducking under the name of cricket.
UNPRECEDENTED RS.17M TURNOVER
Soon after Mohan de Silva welcomed the media and announced that Sri Lanka Cricket had the proud distinction of recording a turnover of Rs.17 million and surplus of Rs.6.3 million, Shammi Silva, taking the floor, said, “Our accounts are unqualified. Some don’t like us organising world cups . They are targeting SLC and attacking players. They have singled out certain players and selectors. I’m telling these mischief makers not to attack the players who are very young and don’t deserve to be treated shabbily. Some media organisations had attacked these our cricketers during the world cup qualifying rounds which was nothing but a cheap, low down thing to do. Why target these young cricketers? Attack us and not these young players. If they do wrong we will take action against them. We have done so in the past four years. Remember that players do experience bad patches ,” he observed. He lamented that it was bad for the country’s cricket what certain mischief mongers and certain sections of the media were unfairly indulging in.”
MP SPOKE WITHOUT PROOF
The SLC President roundly refuted the allegations by Ratnapura District Member of Parliament Hesha Withanage of gross misuse of funds at Sri Lanka Cricket and that members of the Executive Committee were using the board’s money for personal use. He alleged that the MP had not got his facts right and had no audit official report with him to back his claims. The SLC President said that he had travelled to Australia on two occasions on an ICC invitation. “We don’t get five cents from SLC as remuneration. And come on, can’t I take my own wife,? He contended while gping on to outline and elaborate on the gigantic volume of development work Sri Lanka Cricket had embarked on
MASSIVE CRICKET DEVELOPMENT & REVENUE GENERATI
He said that cricket was on a high development=wise with facilities had been provided at the grassroots level. Schools were prioritised in a big way by way of a colossal funding of Rs.25 million. Today, revenue generation was happening on all fours unlike bogus elements who had crept into the cricket board and played out left and right emptying the SLC coffers when they left. India was the best example in respect of massive revenue generation. The biggest financial turnover has been in our time. At one time there were no salaries for players and we borrowed from the ICC and spent. Now it is not so Now we are having a surplus bigger than New Zealand based on a big plan.
The SLC President spelt out what his management was doing twards driving in revenue. “We are coming to India level in that respect . The Asia Cup was not to come here, but we spoke and got to stage 9 matches here.Another major leap forward will be the staging of the ICC Tier 4 conference here. The ICC AGM.might be held here. Furthermore, the LPL auction was very successful. This December a T10 tournament is lined up to be staged here.
BIGGEST SLC CRICKET CALE
At the outset, Hony General Secretary, Mohan de Silva said, “The purpose of meeting here is to enlighten you on one of the biggest cricketing calendars SLC has lined up for the future. We are also have the proud distinction of grossing the highest turnover ever at SLC of over rupees 17 million with a surplus of 6.3 million and the SLC membership approves one of the cleanest accounts.” He added that the staging of the fourth edition of theLanka Premier League was a boon being the right time to wring in the big time sponsors as well as thesubsequent hosting of the Asia Cup.
In regard to Sri Lanka’s chances at the 2023 World Cup, he said, “We won the 1996 World Cupplaying in India and Pakistan. This time around, playing in India our focus is to win the world cup and not to come second or third. In 2026 we and India will host the world cup. Los of tournaments are lined up here. Sfghanistan, Pakistan and the UAE are down to play here.
There was a financial boon in respect of increased players salaries as well as for local tournaments. A significant turnaround would be the boost for women’s cricket which would see women’s teams fronted at mens clubs.