Jayantha set to become SLC Chief


In this file picture of 2005, Jayantha Dharmadasa (right) poses for photographs with former ICC Chairman Eshan Mani.

Businessman and former head of the Cricket Interim Committee Jayantha Dharmadasa is set to be nominated as the new head of Sri Lanka Cricket, The Island learns. Cricket sources said yesterday that all three nominations for the post of Presidency of SLC are likely to be rejected due to various reasons.

Although it was initially suggested that former head of SLC and MP Thilanga Sumathipala had got the clearance by his political bosses to contest the elections, he seems to have run into fresh problems. A three member committee appointed by Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage looked into a protest challenging Sumathipala’s candidature and the Minister forwarded the report to AG’s Department for feedback on the matter.

Sources said that while Sumathipala had been cleared on two counts, a third count had stood against him ruling him out of holding office.

Upali Dharmadasa, the incumbent President and Sumith Perera of Badureliya CC have been rejected creating a void at the top of the SLC.

Upali Dharmadasa was a mere figurehead during his tenure as head of SLC with powerful but controversial Secretary of SLC calling the shots. Although Upali began his tenure vowing to bring SLC out of its financial crisis, the board’s problems were far from over and the game is struggling to inject money for cricket development.

Another issue that got widely criticized during his tenure was cancelation or postponement of several Test series. Last year, a three Test series against India was changed into an ODI series while this year’s high profile Test series against world’s number one ranked team – South Africa – has been indefinitely postponed.

The three match Test series against West Indies also was called off while last year’s England’s Test series against Sri Lanka was reduced to two from three Tests so that country’s elite cricketers could earn their IPL millions.

SLC bigwigs were thought to be pondering nominating Jayantha, who headed the Interim Committee from 2005 to 2007 and the move is believed to have got the government support as well.

Jayantha was to contest this year’s cricket elections, but pulled out after the flamboyant Sumathipala announced he will contest the elections.

He will take over a board which is in deep debt and corrupt to the core with some of its Ex-Co members having conflict of interests. His extraordinary appointment also comes at a time when SLC’s television rights are up for sale. Although Jayantha has a clean record, he could prove to be vulnerable to manipulations that could take place in selling of television rights.

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