5 March, 2024


Sri Lanka Cricket: Sports Minister Navin Breaks Own Rules For Nuski

Representatives of 68 Clubs and Associates of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) met at the Sinhalese Cricket Club yesterday, 25th April, and agreed to discuss with Navin Dissanayake the Minister of Sports, measures to resolve the crisis that prevails at its cricket headquarters.

Prior to this, Minister Dissanayake had officially given his blessings for the Annual General Meeting of SLC to be convened on the 30th of April 2015 but had a change of heart, after a booking fee of Rs 120,000 was paid to the Bandaranaike International Conference Hall (BMICH). The Minister subsequently went on to dissolve the existing Executive Committee and appointed an Interim Committee to look after SLC’s affairs.

Minister Navin with his Interim Committee president and vice president

Minister Navin with his Interim Committee president and vice president

Minister Dissanayake in late January 2015 called for a meeting with the Executive Committee of SLC on the 2nd of February 2015 and highlighted six key points, which he wanted implemented immediately.

The key points were as follows:

1. In Keeping with important and broadly accepted principles of good governance by a legitimately elected board all major operational and policy decisions should be made by the board and Mr. Jayantha Dharmadasa chairman of the board has the complete backing of the minister and the sports ministry. The minister was of the strong view that he will encourage teamwork and consensual decision making and adhere to the constitution of Sri Lanka Cricket.

2. As there is a new government in place and allegations of corruption in many institutions abound, the minister directed the secretary of the ministry, Mr. Rafeek, to employ the services of a Sri Lankan audit firm to complete a financial audit and submit their report in a month.

3. Eliminating conflict of interest between board members and SLC. Board members cannot employ relatives or promote them nor can they have any contracts that supply any services or goods to SLC.

4. The CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket Mr. Ashley De Silva will carry out his tasked duties of executing policy decisions made by the board. He will also represent SLC at the CEO conferences of the ICC.

5. Members of the board should not have direct communications with overseas cricket boards or individuals. All such contact and communication should be made by the Chairman’s office. All such communications should be shared with board members by the Chairman, Secretary and the CEO.

6. The immediate priority of the board will be the 2015 Cricket World Cup and the board will not incur unnecessary expenditure in this regard but will only engage in expenditure that is necessary for a successful World Cup campaign.

Politics and Sports should never go hand in hand, but when money comes into play at SLC, it has always been the Minister of Sports who has been at the forefront and the first to jump on the bandwagon. The signing of ‘Television Rights’ deals in the not too distant past has proven to be classic examples of this abuse.

But what now saddens the sport loving public of this country is the fact the current Minister of Sports Navin Dissanayake is running in circles even contradicting rules he himself has laid out.

Minister Dissanayake clearly went on to state and highlight the importance of good governance in his opening point. However what’s in question here is has he scrutinized the history and backgrounds of Nuski Mohamed and Jayananda Warnaweera when appointing them as Members of his handpicked Interim Committee?

Nuski Mohamed

Nuski Mohamed

Jayananda Warnaweera’s name was struck off the ICC list when honoring those affiliated to the sport during ICC’s centenary celebrations in 2009 during the time of Haroon Lorgat’s tenure. Warnaweera’s name along with Thilanga Sumathipala’s was struck off, leading to SLC officials to being questioned by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as to why this had taken place. The explanation was simple. Sumathipala’s gaming related business and Warnaweera’s avoidance when contacted by ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit, for incidents relating to match fixing regarding cricket matches played at the Galle Cricket Stadium, where he is the curator were good enough reasons.

“I am not aware of Warnaweera’s alleged incident and I cannot comment on it. Please write these questions officially to me and I will answer them for you” said Minister Dissanayake over the phone during his conversation with Colombo Telegraph.

His third point for instance states that “there cannot be any conflict of interest by board members and Sri Lanka Cricket”.

Jayananda Warnaweera

Jayananda Warnaweera

The Minister of Sports Dissanayake also went on to say that the former Treasurer of Sri Lanka Cricket and his currently appointed Member of the Interim Committee Nuski Mohamed is not in violation of the country’s’ Sports Law, since he has resigned and transferred his shares from his family run business named ‘SVA Agencies’ where all its Directors were registered also as Directors of ‘Cricket Shop’ as well.

However it was common knowledge that millions were spent by SLC over a considerable period of time, to purchase cricket goods from the sports store named ‘Cricket Shop’ especially during the time Nuski Mohamed was the Treasurer of SLC.

Colombo Telegraph can reveal now that the following persons were originally registered as Directors of SVA Agencies and also Directors of Cricket Shop as of 26th March 2007:

Mohamed Nuski Mohamed of 3/16 Kynsey Road Colombo 8, Wickramaarachchige Nandasena Silva of DPG A Manning Tower Elvitigala Lane Colombo 8, Ahamed Shibly Vilcassim of 135/1 Galle Road Dehiwela and Rila Mohamedof 31, St.Anthony’s Mawatha Colomb 3.

The registered shareholders as of then comprised of Mohamed Nuski Mohamed, Wickramarachchige Nandasena Silva, Ahamed Shibly Vilcassim, Rila Mohamed, Rizan Mohamed, Sandra Gamage, Shamindra Vayanthi Gunasekara and ‘Cricket Shop’.

However Mohamed Nuski Mohamed resigned from his post of Director and transferred all his shares held at ‘SVA Agencie’s on the 2nd of January 2012.

As of 6th January 2015 ‘SVA Agencies’ records its Directors as follows: Ahamed Shibly Vilcassim, Mohamed Rila and Mohamed Shiyam Mohamed with the same residential address as provided by Mohamed Nuski Mohamed originally which reads 3/16 Kynsey Road Colombo 8.

Incidentally Mohamed Nuski Mohamed and Mohamed Shiyam Mohamed both share the identical residential address.

As a matter of fact Cricket Shop also does hold 150,001 shares of ‘SVA Agencies’.

The Gazetted Sport Law No 25 of 1973 of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (No 1793/3) and last updated on the 15th January 2013, clearly states in section 15 – (1) that “a person shall be disqualified from being elected or otherwise to hold or continue to hold any paid or unpaid office or to hold any paid or unpaid post or to be a member of a Committee of any National Association or to be a nominee of an affiliated club or organization in a National Association if:- (i) “he is directly or indirectly involved in the manufacture, assembly, production, sale or distribution of sports goods, gear any item or equipment relating or such sport”.

His fourth point also now goes into question as to why Nuski Mohamed who now is an ordinary Member of the Interim Committee was sent to Dubai for the ICC Director’s meeting.

Subsequently he never attended that meeting even though he set foot on Dubai soil, but it is quite reliably learned that he had had a meeting with officials of ‘Ten Sports’ in a private capacity. That meeting held at a private level and behind closed doors is now being looked into by the CEO of SLC, Ashley De Silva, after it was brought to his attention. De Silva when contacted by Colombo Telegraph went on to say “Nuski Mohamed was not authorized by the Interim Committee to hold any talks with any television rights personnel on this SLC paid trip”.

However the biggest question on every ardent cricket lovers mind is as to why the Treasurer of the so called ‘corrupt’ previous Executive Committee was retained and appointed to the Interim Committee by Minister Dissanayake, where if any ‘corrupt’ individual should be investigated it should have been the anyone who held the post of Treasurer of SLC. It is reported that Nuski Mohamed continues to occupy his former Treasurer’s office space at the cricket board headquarters even though he now holds an ordinary Member’s post in the Interim Committee. CEO Ashley De Silva when spoken to did not deny this fact.

President Maithripala Sirisena’s speech to commemorate the completion of the 100 day programme highlighted the fact of how the new government has strengthened international ties with countries such as England, India, Pakistan and China.

However what has left many bemused after this speech is that the international sporting ties the country holds with their overseas parent bodies is currently strained due to the political interference that is taking place under the guise of good governance.

The National Olympic Committee (NOC), Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) have all been warned of being sidelined by their governing bodies if political interference is to continue with their local member boards.

The ICC has already taken the stance of withholding monies due to SLC due this reason and banked such funds in an escrow account.

Following closely are other sports such as Football, Swimming and Badminton governing bodies as well.

The International Cricket Council, the parent body of SLC made no bones when the day to day operation of the cricket abode started to takes this current course.

It was not a surprise then to find an email from The CEO of the ICC David Richardson who appeared to be ‘miffed’ by the political interference that was taking place within its member’s board.

The regulations brought in by the ICC in 2012 clearly state the fact that their fellow member boards cannot be run by Interim Committees.

‘Interim’ which literally means a ‘short period’, could however go on forever in this country of ours which is a land like no other.

The ICC CEO David Richardson’s email to the former Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga on the day the Executive Committee was dissolved is found below.

From: David Richardson <David.Richardson@icc-cricket.com>
Date: March 31, 2015 at 2:05:17 PM GMT+5:30
To: Nishantha Ranatunga 1 <secretary@srilankacricket.lk>, “Nishantha Ranatunga 2” nishanthar2003@yahoo.com
Cc: “Jayantha Dharmadasa (Personal)” <jd1@slt.lk>, Iain Higgins <Iain.Higgins@icc-cricket.com>
Subject: Media reports

Dear Nishantha,

Apparent appointment of interim committee to run Sri Lanka Cricket

I note from reports in the media of today’s date that the government of Sri Lanka intends to form an interim committee to run the cricketing affairs of Sri Lanka Cricket.

Whilst we have no further or substantive information about the accuracy or otherwise of these media reports, I just wanted to flag with you the risk that such action could put Sri Lanka Cricket in breach of Article 2.9(B) of ICC’s Articles of Association which states as follows: ‘Where a government interferes in the administration of cricket by a Member, including but not limited to interference in operational matters, the selection and management of teams, the appointment of coaches or support personnel, the Executive Board shall have the power to suspend or refuse to recognize that Member…’.

Of course, a full and proper investigation would need to be carried out, but any unjustified interference might expose Sri Lanka Cricket to the possibility of having its membership suspended by the ICC Board, which would have considerably damaging consequences, including the loss of the right for Sri Lanka Cricket to participate in ICC’s global events.

I very much hope that Sri Lanka Cricket and the government of Sri Lanka will be able to resolve any issues that they might have in a mutually agreeable fashion and look forward to receiving your update on what exactly has occurred or is transpiring.

If you have any questions about this letter or would like our further assistance in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me or the ICC’s General Counsel, Iain Higgins (iain.higgins@icc-cricket.com).

With kind regards,
David Richardson
Chief Executive
International Cricket Council
Tel: +971 4 3828800 DD: +971 4 3828801
Mob: +971 50 6401214 Fax: +971 4 3828600
Sh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road,
Dubai Sports City, Street 69
PO Box 500070, Dubai, UAE

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Latest comments

  • 4

    More strength to the watchful eyes of the media like Colombo Telegraph. Sri Lankan public officials, with few exceptions, have become a set of rogues – almost in every field of activity. The Cricket Board has been one of the chief offenders. If a proper inquiry is held (not a Shape Committee) to find out how and where the substantial funds of the Board for the past 25 years went, a portion of the loot taken, if recovered, can inject badly needed liquidity to our bankrupt Cricket Board.


    • 3

      Is International Cricket Council (ICC) supposed to be more powerful than sovereign nations?

      All mighty FIFA treats nations like dirt. FIFA expects any nation, even big ones such as Brazil to go down on its’ knees, when spoken to. Has that attitude spread to Cricket as well?

      It sounds pretty bad if the ICC now dominated by corrupt Indian officials should find themselves in position to dictate terms to an elected government in Sri Lanka.

      We are lead to believe Cricket is about having fun and national pride, in the most innocent way possible. That is for idiots to believe. Cricket now is a billion dollar business.


      PS: Above mentioned is not in defense of Cricket Mafia in Colombo.

  • 0

    Thank you Colombotelegraph for such sports community awareness service. Interim Board appointment of eminent persons should be part of the constitution of Sports Association for conducting elections of Office bearers only. Government should stay out of it.

    According to the Constitution – 13th A, 9th schedule List I (Provincial List)- sports is a subject for provincial councils.
    “Section 29.2 Encouragement and development of sports (other
    than national sports associations).”

    Note it says other than national sports associations. That includes Associations that are affiliated to their International governing bodies.

    Sports does not appear in the “Concurrent List” or the Reserved List. It is important for legal scholars to check whether the Sports Law overrides the constitution.

    I hope the International sports governing bodies such as the IOC, IAAF, FIFA implement their regulations on government interference in affiliated sports institutions strictly but let the national sports associations of banned states under their respective international associations until sanity comes to the offending states. IOC, ICC and IAAF should take strict measures to protect the sportspersons and the National Associations from interfering governments.

  • 4

    First, look at the assets of the Hon. Minister himself! He was also a minister of the previous regime!! Hopefully, given time and with a strong leadership, we hope these bad habits will fade away!!

    • 1

      My dear Kumaraya, I must appreciate your concern and interest in the field of cricket and management. You are hoping that the bad habits will fade away and I have to ask you HOW?
      Officials who introduced these “bad habits” are brought back and this will only reintroduce “bad habits”
      I am certain there are genuine people around who can do a good job but then there are also people who would cut the sod right under the feet of such honest people.
      Sri Lanka is packed in sporting talent and sadly everything seems to be highly corrupted and yet they carry on with the blessings of the power controllers at the top even after being exposed which makes Sri Lanka a great place ???

    • 1

      [given time and with a strong leadership, we hope these bad habits will fade away!!]

      Kumaraya you will have better luck seen pigs flying without wings before your hope will come to fusion.

  • 3

    Why Every thing in Sri lanka needs the involvement of a minister.

    Do these idiots know every thing ?

    Are the professionals stupid, incompetent idiots ?

    Do these thieves know every thing ?

  • 2

    Apoointment of people like Sidath And Kushil to the Interm Committee is commendable.

    But 2-3 other appointments are horrendous and appalling. Look at their track records and it speaks for themselves. Some of them have no formal income and are totally dependent on Cricke Board.

  • 1

    Considering what has happened to the country in a mere 115 days, cricket should be the least of our concerns, though we all love that sport dearly!

  • 0

    All these politicians are the same.They have their close friends appointed to cover up future deals

  • 1

    Kindly appoint members of the Cricket Board from non-aligned persons who have experience in the administration part of governance. Those who have interest of cricket should be appointed to the Board. In addition, those interested in monetary gains should be kept away from administrative bodies. Let such bodies do the administrations without any political interference.

    Henry De Silva – Ex-secretary of Nomads

  • 2

    While I have already expressed the opinion of Mr. Navin Dissanayake’s qualifications and capabilities (or lack thereof) in the matter of his elevation in a government supposedly dedicated to “cleaning shop,” what I find peculiar is the fact that the ICC was monumentally silent when the Rajapaksa government was committing even greater sins in the matter of political interference.
    Would someone care to make comment on this fact?

    • 1

      Emil…. Its all around another ‘family’ rule like the Rajapaksas mentality of ‘I won the War and its my say for everything and anything’ in here with another dubious and rogue familu called Ranatunga Bros Company playing a dirty game here with the motto ‘I won a World Cup and its my job to dictate’.

      See the family mafia… eldest Dhammika was once CEO of SLC without any qualifications except played 2-3 matches with the influence of the younger brother and the captain at that time.

      Brother Arjuna the Minister of Ports/Aviation and SLFP organiser for A’galla. [CBK camp]

      Then that man from Gampaha the Chief Minister of WPC, with a big frame and pea sized brain protectng the rogue MaRa day in and out. [Rajapaksa camp]

      Then we have Nishantha, a common rogue and billionair with all corrupt deals from Rupavahini/CSN/Mihin Air etc., with billions of commissions and under hand deals and good enought to spend the rest of his life in Welikada if this Yahapalanaya really works.. this man is now lean toward RW and [UNP camp]

      the other brother who have plans to be in politics and now a so called Journalist in Sirasa Satana fame and people around says he was planted by Rajamahendran [Sirasa camp]

      Then the youngest is a ruling party MP from Gampaha and assume he is in the [My3 camp]

      Also note that Nishantha R the most corrupt of these family and the BaRa comaprd to ther other notorious family is the local agent for INDIA Cements the conglomate that N Sirinivasan the BCCI and nee ICC chief and earned billions with corrupt deals and Sirinivasa another rogue accused in fixing IPL matches with his son in law is working hard to get down the Interim committe and bring back Nishantha R back as the all poweful Secretary of SLC.

      As you know., who ever is the chariman of SLC, the Secretary job was always uncontested and goes to Nishantha in the last 10 years of Rajapaksa rule and this man is nothing but a dirty rogue who did interfere with every aspect of the game and almost send legends like Sanga and Mahela into retirement.

      Its hard for someone like Naveen Dissa to cleanup the system as a junior minister in this cabinet and the political uncertainty and culture right now.

      Anyway, Naveen Dissa is just nowhere when it comes to his more illustrate dad.

      The best I can think of SLC is to keep away those rogues like Nishantha and whole Ranatungas and those mudalalis of Dharmadasas and bookiePala who will do anything to buy the corrupt smaller cricket clubs to vote for them and its really really hard to get a clean environment in this situation though people like Sidath should be appreciated to coming forward to clean the mess.

  • 0

    Little is known about the shady activities
    of Navin Dissanayake. He is neither a
    politician nor a sportsman. He is an
    opportunist, a much higher one than his
    father who was down to earth. Old Gamini
    was well read and knew his onions.

    Gamini will be turning in his grave at
    the things Navin has done. He is now a
    boy’s man and does not have any values.

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