No political involvement: SL sports minister assures ICC chairman

Bipin Dani

Sri Lankan sports minister Harin Fernando had a very fruitful meeting with the ICC chairman Shashank Manohar in Nagpur today.

Harin Fernando shakes hands with the ICC chairman Shashank Manohar
Sri Lankan sports minister Harin Fernando shakes hands with the ICC chairman Shashank Manohar in Nagpur.

The minister came down to India and made him aware about the cricketing activities in his country.

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“No, at this moment I did not have any agenda to seek his permission for allowing to have interim committee. I am also not in favour of the interim committee”, speaking exclusively at the hotel, the minister said to this reporter.

“I have informed him about the steps taken (the new Cricket Constitution tabled before the Parliament for the debate and way forward…And I also gave him the assurance that there is no political involvement”.

“Apparently, the ICC president was happy with the discussions and my presentation and also the letter I brought from the Hon. Prime Minister, assuring the ICC the smooth governing…”.

“I also have promised him to update the ICC time to time and requested ICC to recommend the steps to be taken for the development of the game”.

“The ICC chairman will be visiting Sri Lanka in August with a invitation from the SLC President Shammi Silva”, the minister signed off.

Foreign coaches to be interviewed to-day

Sri Lankan team will have an interim coach till the new head coach is appointed. This was revealed by Hon. sports minister Harin Fernando, who is on a short visit to Nagpur to meet the ICC chairman Shashank Manohar.

“We are in the process of hiring a new coach and till the new coach is not appointed, may ask someone from Sri Lanka to be with the team”, he said.

The minister did not divulge the names of the possible interim coach. However, the possibility of approaching Chaminda Vaas or Roy Dias is not ruled out.

Among the present support staff, the bowling coach Rumesh Rutnayake’s services may be retained to spot talent in the country.

After the exit of Chandika Hathurusingha, the three short-listed candidates (one Australian and two South Africans) are scheduled to be interviewed (video conference, Skype etc.) on Thursday, it is learnt here.

One prominent former Sri Lankan cricketer (on behalf of SLC) is negotiating with one of the three shortlisted candidates, it is also learnt here.

In the meantime, no send-off party for the outgoing coach Hathurusingha was planned by the team.

“Had there been any such move, it would have been on our WhatApp group”, a member of the support staff, speaking exclusively over telephone from Colombo, said before team left hotel for R. Premadasa Stadium to play the 3rd and final ODI.

“The coach is an administrator of the group and all players in the group are entitled to write their views”, the source further added.

Incidentally, Lasith Malinga still figures in the team WhatsApp group though he is no more in the ODI squad. He retired at the end of the first ODI.

“He even congratulated the team (after the second ODI) for winning the series and also wished Wanindu Hasaranga on his 22nd birthday on Monday. Members of the team celebrated his birthday with a cake”, the source further added.


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