Sri Lankan team
Sri Lanka players wait for a review during the match against India in the World Cup. The Asia Cup finalists' dismal show has been the focal point for the latest controversy. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Sri Lankan cricket, already reeling after a disastrous performance in the Cricket World Cup in India, plunged into a deeper crisis after the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board suspended Sri Lankan Cricket's membership with immediate effect.

"The ICC Board met today [Friday] and determined that Sri Lanka Cricket is in serious breach of its obligations as a Member, in particular, the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government interference in the governance, regulation and/or administration of cricket in Sri Lanka," said a statement from the ICC.

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Development of crisis

"The conditions of the suspension will be decided by the ICC Board in due course," it added.

On Thursday, Sri Lanka’s parliament unanimously asked the country’s cricket board to resign after accusing it of unprecedented corruption involving millions of dollars.

It was the latest development in a crisis involving the cricket board — the richest sporting organisation in the bankrupt island country — that came to a head after Sri Lanka’s humiliating World Cup defeat by India last week.

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Sports minister Roshan Ranasinghe sacked the board and appointed former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga as the interim chairman on Monday.

The move is not binding but adds to pressure on the board, which the sports minister sacked on Monday only for the Court of Appeal to restore it the following day.

Widespread corruption

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa moved a resolution asking Sri Lanka Cricket to step down immediately and the government agreed in a rare show of unity in the fractured legislature.

“This is a historic resolution that sends a message to the world that Sri Lankan legislators have united to defend cricket and restore the integrity of the game,” Premadasa told the cricket-mad country’s parliament.

Sports minister Roshan Ranasinghe has accused the board of widespread corruption. He sacked the elected members on Monday and replaced them with an interim committee headed by former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga.

- With inputs from agencies