Sri Lanka Cricket bowls out Parliament’s match referee | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka Cricket bowls out Parliament’s match referee

14 August, 2022

Cricket played in Parliament may have crossed the boundary with even its match officials run-out of shots and ruled out as the keepers of the sport hit back strongly over claims it fixed the shifting of this month’s Asia Cup from Sri Lanka to the United Arab Emirates.

Having come under yet another volume of scrutiny in Parliament this time over the forfeiture of the Asia Cup that was moved to the United Arab Emirates for what was said to be logistical and security concerns, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) reacting to accusations raised by Member of Parliament Nalin Bandara defended itself saying the six-nation Asian tournament was at the discretion of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).

Accusing SLC of fraud, Member of Parliament Nalin Bandara claimed Sri Lanka lost an opportunity to kick start foreign tourism in the country, especially with India and Pakistan playing their Asia Cup match to a packed stadium, that had resulted in further damning the country’s image.

“The country could have earned 50 million (US dollars) from tourism by hosting the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka. We had a country like Australia successfully play here and none of these Asian countries objected to playing the Asia Cup here. Instead what happened was that by agreeing to shift the Asia Cup to the UAE Sri Lanka Cricket officials had put into their pockets a percentage of the proceeds that Sri Lanka was entitled to,” said MP Nalin Bandara.

But Sri Lanka Cricket in a fiery response accused Bandara of hiding behind Parliamentary privileges and dabbling in the wrong sport without knowing the facts of how and why the Asia Cup was shifted to the UAE.

“The Asia Cup is not a tournament belonging to Sri Lanka Cricket to claim its ownership. The Asia Cup is organized, structured and controlled by the Organization called and referred to as the Asian Cricket Council.

“It should be noted that the Asian Cricket Council having closely monitored the situation and developments in Sri Lanka during the last few months (both economic and social) after much deliberation on the 24th of July at a meeting held among member states decided to play the matches of the 2022 Asia Cup in the UAE instead of Sri Lanka, whilst keeping the hosting opportunity and rights to SLC”, Sri Lanka Cricket said in a reactionary statement.

The statement also said hosting Australia had nothing to do with proving it was possible to host six countries for the Asia Cup as the Australian tour was an event between just two countries and that too held amid “greatest difficulties” taking into account the economic and political situation in the country.

“Under the prevailing circumstances in Sri Lanka owing to the fuel crisis, power supply limitations and other logistical issues confronted by both facilitators and spectators, it was considered by the ACC that the hosting of the event in Sri Lanka is beyond imaginable in view of the added demands made by stakeholder and its commercial partners’” said SLC’s statement