Sri Lanka Cricket, on Wednesday, slapped a defamation lawsuit against sports minister Roshan Ranasinghe for making “damaging defamatory statements” against it, deepening the administrative crisis in the country.
“In response to the persistent and damaging defamatory statements made by the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Roshan Ranasinghe, Sri Lanka Cricket has taken a decisive step to protect its reputation and integrity,” SLC said in a statement.
“Therefore, on the 13th November 2023, the President, Vice President, and Treasurer of Sri Lanka Cricket jointly filed a defamation lawsuit in the District Court of Colombo, seeking damages amounting to 2.4 Billion rupees on behalf of the Sri Lanka Cricket.”
There has been a lot of bad blood between SLC, which is currently suspended by the ICC, and Ranasinghe, who has accused the board of corruption and mismanagement many times during a press conference last Saturday.
“The continuous dissemination of false and harmful statements by the Minister of Sports has caused substantial harm to the image of Sri Lanka Cricket, both domestically and internationally,” the board said.
“The Sri Lanka Cricket, represented by its top leadership, is committed to upholding transparency, accountability, and fair play in all its endeavors.
“The legal action aims to rectify the unwarranted damage inflicted on Sri Lanka Cricket’s standing in the sporting community.” Last week, Ranasinghe had sacked the SLC management and appointed former World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga as head of a seven-member interim committee to govern the cricket board but the Court of Appeal restored it a day later.
However, with the Sri Lankan parliament unanimously passing a resolution, calling for the sacking of the country’s cricket governing body, amounted to government interference, forcing the ICC to suspend Sri Lanka.
Ranasinghe had alleged bias when the Court of Appeal issued a writ against his interim committee.
On Tuesday, at least two judges of the Court of Appeal recused themselves from hearing Ranasinghe’s plea to overturn the writ issued against his action to appoint an interim committee.
The chaos in Sri Lankan cricket came after the national team’s early exit from the World Cup. The Lankans managed only two wins in nine games.
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