Sumathipala blames past cricket officials for busting Rs.18 million | Sunday Observer

Sumathipala blames past cricket officials for busting Rs.18 million

15 September, 2019
Thilanga Sumathipala
Thilanga Sumathipala

Beleaguered ex-Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) president Thilanga Sumathipala claims that an administration that took over running the sport’s affairs after 2005 had used up Rs.18 million of Cricket Aid funds for “different purposes” which the present office bearers cannot be held accountable for.

He made the revelation at a Press conference held at his residence after the Parliamentary committee probing mismanagement of public funds and corruption, better known as COPE, questioned members of the present administration of SLC that included secretary Mohan de Silva and chief executive Ashley de Silva.

“After 2005 some officials tried to shut down Cricket Aid. Nearly Rs.18 million was used by SLC’s then administration for different purposes. If audited the accounts will be revealed and we (present administration of SLC) have not misused any funds,” said Sumathipala who is aligned with the present set-up running cricket.

Sumathipala said the present administration had provided some of the funds of Cricket Aid to members of the Sri Lanka team that won the World Cup for deaf cricketers this year.

He threw a challenge to Cope to question him on Cricket Aid funds.

Cricket Aid was formed in 2005 to help victims and families affected by the 2004 Asian tsunami which devastated the country’s coastline.

Cricket Aid then set up humanitarian projects in Matara, Batticaloa and Killinochi which were the worst affected with nearly 4000 people benefitting through housing, healthcare and education scholarships.

Meanwhile in another development Sports Minister Harin Fernando suspended Sumathipala from attending any functions or activities of SLC as a Past President following a Gazette notification.

He is being accused of having family links to the gaming or betting industry which according to the International Cricket Council (ICC) Charter, prohibits anyone with such connections from playing a part in administration or decision making.

Sumathipala says he has no connection to the betting industry.