Sri Lanka Postpones New T20 Cricket League

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC)

Sri Lanka’s cricket authorities Sunday announced the indefinite postponement of the country’s Twenty20 league scheduled for next month and said revised dates will be decided by a new board.

The Lankan Premier League (LPL) was due to start on August 18, but an interim management body appointed last month decided to delay the tournament, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a statement. “Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to inform that the LPL (T20) has been postponed indefinitely, until an elected body is constituted at the SLC,” the statement said. In late May, Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal suspended elections for the crisis-ridden cricket board.

Sports minister Faiszer Musthapha appointed a competent authority to run the board until elections are held within six months.

Board elections were scuttled following a petition by a former secretary of SLC Nishantha Ranatunga who argued that outgoing president Thilanga Sumathipala was unsuitable for re-election.

Sumathipala was pitted against Ranatunga, a younger brother of Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga, in the election.

The Ranatunga brothers accuse Sumathipala of violating International Cricket Council regulations by holding office despite alleged links to gambling.

Sumathipala acknowledges that his family is involved in gambling, but says he has nothing to do with the business and has not violated the ICC code of conduct.

The court intervention in the cricket board last month came as four Sri Lankans were implicated in an alleged match-fixing scandal exposed in an Al Jazeera documentary.