Malalasekara defends decision to terminate WSG Nimbus contract
We, the undersigned, who were members of the Interim Committee appointed on the 29th Of March 2001 and some of us who were appointed subsequently reliably understand that the Arbitration Tribunal has held against the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) on what appears to be a technical point of law in the arbitration between the BCCSL and WSG Nimbus (Pvt) Ltd.
We wish to inform the cricket loving public of Sri Lanka that we unanimously decided to terminate the contract entered into with WSG Nimbus (Pvt) Ltd only after having obtained:
- an opinion from the Attorney General of Sri Lanka, (a copy of which is attached "A") who has stated that the Agreement with WSG Nimbus (Pvt) Ltd has ceased to operate and
- having obtained the consent of the Secretary to the Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs, he was kept informed by letter dated 15th October 2001 of the progress. (a copy of which is attached "B" )
The decision to terminate the contract therefore was taken in a very responsible and in an accountable manner. Suffice it to state that the BCCSL Committee under the stewardship of Mr. Sumathipala filed action against WSG Nimbus in case No. HC (Civil)/20/2001 (1) for breach of contract. A settlement was arrived at and payments due under the contract were to be made on specified dates. Unfortunately, WSG Nimbus did not adhere to the terms of settlement despite several reminders which made the Interim Committee to seek an opinion from the Attorney General which eventually lead to the termination of the contract, with the concurrence of the Secretary to the Minister of Sports.
Further, we are made to understand that Counsel for WSG Nimbus, during the course of the arbitration proceedings, had intimated that they were willing to settle this matter amicably on BCCSL returning a sum of US$ 700,000 and permitting them to bid for contracts in the future. This has evidenced in a letter dated 4th July 2002 addressed to the then Boards Lawyers, Julius & Creasy, from ShookLin & Bok under the sub heading "Amicable settlement". (a copy of which is attached "C") The said sum of US$ 700,000 was paid by WSG Nimbus (Pvt) Ltd., by way of an advance to cover the West Indies tour. Since the contract was terminated this sum rightfully belongs to them.
We believe this offer to have been reasonable and should have been accepted by the BCCSL. Permitting them to participate in future contracts along with others is indeed a reasonable request. It is unfortunate that this offer was not accepted.
In a handing over note addressed by our Chairman to the incoming Chairman of the Interim Committee dated 27th March 2002 (a copy of which is attached "D) in paragraph two he has bought to the notice of the incoming Chairman of the BCCSL, the dispute with WSG Nimbus.
The Audited Accounts for the year ended 31st December 2002 together with the financial statements (a copy of which is attached "E") were forwarded to the Minister of Sports by letter dated 2nd April 2002 (a copy of which is attached "F"). They also refer to these matters under 24.1 in the notes to the accounts.
From our understanding, the quantum of damages to be awarded will be subject to further submissions from both parties. These proceedings, we understand, will be held in the latter part of this year.
We are issuing this press statement to demonstrate to the cricket loving
public that the Interim committee acted in a responsible and in an accountable manner
after having considered all the circumstances.
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