Minister wants cricket clean-up, says he’s not permanent | Sunday Observer

Minister wants cricket clean-up, says he’s not permanent

Nimal Lewke receiving the Kreeda Bhushana award from President Maithripala Sirisena for his yeomen services to rugby. Lewke was also a front-line boxer during his heydays besides being a crack commando who served as Deputy Inspector General in the Special Task Force (STF)
Nimal Lewke receiving the Kreeda Bhushana award from President Maithripala Sirisena for his yeomen services to rugby. Lewke was also a front-line boxer during his heydays besides being a crack commando who served as Deputy Inspector General in the Special Task Force (STF)

Sports Minister Harin Fernando has strongly suggested that the coaching staff at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) should be removed after the tour by Bangladesh who will be in the island for a three-match ODI series starting on July 26.

He said this during his speech at the Presidential Sports Awards ceremony held at the BMICH on Wednesday (17).

Fernando said that he had written to the president of SLC Shammi Silva on the need to make the changes now that the World Cup is over.

Sri Lanka’s coaching staff currently consists of head coach Chandika Hathurusingha, batting coach Jon Lewis and fielding coach Steve Rixon, though according to Silva there is still room for some of them to be retained.

In a letter to the SLC, the Minister, has urged that the present coaching staff to be removed in order to re-negotiate the fresh contracts after the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh which begins on July 26 at the Premadasa Stadium.

Sri Lanka failed to secure a semi-final spot and was placed sixth having recorded only three wins at the recent ICC Cricket World Cup held in England and Wales which was a poor show.

“All the sports bodies belong to the Ministry of Sports and the ministry is permanent but my appointment is not permanent,” said Minister Fernando.

“There were a few blunders in the World Cup final played between England and New Zealand but the New Zealand players showed their dignity to the entire world. But nowadays in Sri Lanka there is fighting among coaches and referees. Discipline is most important in sports.”

“When the Yahapalana government was voted in, the people also expected sports to move forward along with the good governance. When I was appointed as the Minister of Sports I was scared because there were a lot of issues in the ministry of sports,” said Fernando.

He said the main task of the Ministry of Sports was to develop sports but they have to settle the problems among sports associations.

Speaking about the netball association the Minister said that he was very disappointed with them even after having spent Rs. 35 million on them.

“Netball officials have gone on to say that the ministry has not given them money to be spent on food to be taken during training. These comments are totally disappointing.”

“If they have issues with the Ministry they must come and talk face to face with me rather than make comments on social media,” said Harin Fernando.

Award winners:

Most Outstanding Sportsman and Sports Personality of the Year 2017 and 2018-

DM Indika Dissanayake (weight lifting Silver at the Commonwealth Games 2018)

Most Outstanding Sportswoman of the Year:

Anusha Kodithuwakku (boxing Bronze at the Commonwealth Games 2018)

Most Outstanding Differently-able Sportswoman of the Year:

Amara Indumathi Karunathilake (athletics Silver in long at Asian Para Games 2018)

Most Outstanding Differently-able sportsman of the Year:

Dinesh Priyantha Herath (javelin gold at the Asian Para Games 2018)

Dinesh Priyantha (Bronze at the World Para Games 2018)

Kreeda Bhushana: to Nimal Lewke, Chandrishan Perera, Captain Tilan Perera, Prema Pinnawala, Prof Ranjit de Silva and P. Don Victor.

Kreeda Rathna: to WD Chandra Kanthi, LAD Premaratne, Suneetha Wijesuriya Anura Tennakoon, Mali Wickremasinghe and Pushpamali Ramanayake received the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Awards of Excellence (Kreeda Deshoththara).

Veteran sports journalists Elmo Rodrigopulle, Premasara Epasinghe and JH Wilson were awarded the Presidential Lifetime Award of Excellence (Kreeda Prabha)


Rugby legend Chandrishan Perera in a wheelchair pushed by former Sri Lanka fly half Dilroy Fernando is greeted by President Maithripala Sirisena before receiving his award   

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