Group including Muralitharan submits petition in court for overhaul of ‘flawed’ SLC constitution

Sri Lanka

There has long been a view that SLC’s existing constitution is unfit for purpose

Former players Muttiah Muralitharan and Sidath Wettimuny are among a group of 12 who have submitted a petition in the courts seeking an overhaul of Sri Lanka Cricket’s “flawed” constitution.

There has long been a view that SLC’s existing constitution, which was drafted in the pre-professional era, is unfit for purpose, and is the source of many of the nation’s cricketing ills, including an ailing domestic structure. Although there have previously been unsuccessful attempts to alter SLC’s constitution, this is the first time pressure is being put on SLC via the nation’s courts.

As a first action, Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeals, where the petition was lodged, has given notice to SLC, and the country’s sports minister (who is also a respondent). They have been asked to respond to the petition on March 15.

The petition raises several concerns but its primary aim appears to be to severely restrict the number of votes at the SLC election. By doing so, it hopes to reduce the number of first-class teams, amongst other aims. There are no fewer than 148 votes up for grabs at SLC election, compared, for example, to 38 votes in the BCCI election, in a country with roughly 60 times Sri Lanka’s population. The petition states the decline in the men’s national team’s results since 2016 is down to poorly administered domestic cricket.

The petition also suggests a change in the constitution could help bring more women into administrative positions at SLC (the current executive committee is all men), and also help more meaningfully spread the game beyond the four provinces that have so far produced Sri Lanka cricketers.

“We are a country playing Test cricket since 1982,” the petition states. “The rest of the 5 provinces: North, East, Sabaragamuwa, Rajarata and Uva have produced zero test players. We have not even made a dent in developing cricket in two-thirds of the land in Sri Lanka.”

SLC was approached for comment but did not respond.

Petitioners: Kushil Gunasekara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sidath Wettimuny, Michael Tissera, Saleem Marsoof, Dinal Phillips, Rienzie Wijetilleke, Thilan Wijesinghe, Vijaya Malalasekara, Ana Punchihewa, Somasundaram Skandakumar, Palitha Kohona

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf

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