Teddy bears’ picnic at Sri Lanka cricket election | Sunday Observer

Teddy bears’ picnic at Sri Lanka cricket election

21 March, 2021

If it takes place, an election of office bearers to Sri Lanka Cricket will go down in history as the most dubious and foul-play ridden ballot that the Shammi Silva camp is expected to wrap up on May 20.

It means candidates from the poised-to-win Shammi Silva clan could lose one post but sneak up from another end and grab another slot.

The rival Nishantha Ranatunga group can only frown on the whole fiasco and the question will be how much time they’ll need before they throw in the towel when the going gets tougher after exhausting all legal redress which they claim to be deprived of.

“As you can see from the list of names, something is not right and that is why they are fielding more than one or two candidates for the same post from within.

“For us it is not about me becoming the secretary, Mathivanan becoming the president or Bandula Warnapura becoming the vice president. Our target is not doing business and we don’t have money (to pass around).

“As responsible people our target is the Sri Lanka team which is now last in every format of the game”, said Ranatunga at an hour long Press conference on Thursday.

Ranatunga is contesting the post of secretary that is currently being held by Mohan de Silva who at the same time is running for the president’s post along with the incumbent Shammi Silva and businessman Jayantha Dharmadasa who now sits with the very people he branded as corrupt at last year’s election that he lost.

Ranatunga claimed that all but one of the candidates in the Shammi Silva camp have lost their right to stand for election as Sri Lanka Cricket had failed to submit its mandatory annual Account Statement to the Auditor General’s department at the time of election nominations last month while his pleadings for an impartial inquiry fell on deaf ears.

“The Election Commission disregarded our objections and refused to accommodate us for a full inquiry into the legitimacy of candidates”, Ranatunga charged.

The return of Bandula Warnapura to public office has added some sparks to the Ranatunga camp but when told that he could be fighting a losing battle against the Shammi Silva camp, the first Test captain said he saw his re-entry as now or never as the nurturing ground of club cricket was in ruins.

“I accepted an invitation from Nishantha (Ranatunga) and Mathivanan to do something for club cricket which has lost its quality. Without a proper club system and quality we cannot take our international cricket forward and the negative results are clear to be seen.

“When we won the World Cup in 1996 there were just about seven or eight recognised clubs playing quality cricket. Today there is no quality only the quantity of clubs”, said Warnapura who was at one time Development Director at the Asian Cricket Council.