SLC says board made 'appeal' to ICC to continue playing internationals

A view of a Sri Lanka player's helmet and kit bag inside the dressing room ICC via Getty Images

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) president Shammi Silva made a "fervent appeal" to the ICC to "carve out an exception" that would allow Sri Lanka to continue playing international cricket despite SLC getting suspended, according to an SLC release.

The ICC removed Sri Lanka as hosts of the Men's Under-19 World Cup, which was set for January next year - it will now be held in South Africa instead - due to the ICC's objection to government interference in Sri Lanka's cricket administration. But the ICC did allow Sri Lanka to continue playing international cricket after "hearing representation from SLC", according to an ICC release earlier in the day.

"Participating in [the ICC board meeting on November 21] as an observer, the President of SLC, Mr. Shammi Silva, urged the ICC board to grant additional time for the Sri Lankan government to rectify the issue of political interference in cricket," SLC's release said.

It continued: "However, the ICC Board, taking cognizance of similar suspensions imposed by World Rugby and FIFA in response to political interference, concluded that ample time had already been afforded to the Sri Lankan government to address and rectify the issue. Consequently, the ICC board confirmed the suspension of Sri Lanka Cricket."

ESPNcricinfo understands, however, that SLC officials had themselves requested a suspension from the ICC in order to force Sri Lanka's sports minister Roshan Ranasinghe to back down in his attempts to replace the board with an interim committee. This committee was headed by former captain Arjuna Ranatunga, and featured retired judges, as well as sons of politicians with no known cricket administration experience.

Following that suspension, SLC held a press conference in which Silva reiterated that Sri Lanka was at risk of losing its hosting rights to the Men's Under-19 World Cup, among other things. He also made personal attacks against the sports minister, as the minister has made against him in various public interactions.

According to the ICC's Articles of Association, there is no specific definition of what repercussions a suspension carries. Section 2.10 (B) of that document states: "Any suspension of a Member by the Board of Directors in accordance with Article 2.10 (A) shall be subject to such terms and conditions as the Board of Directors may determine..."