President Holds Talks With ACC Chief Jay Shah to Resolve Cricket Crisis: Harin Says Even Div. 01 Cricketers Cannot Play Due to Ban

November 17, 2023

In a crucial move to address the cricket crisis in Sri Lanka, President Ranil Wickremesinghe engaged in discussions with Asian Cricket Council (ACC) President Jay Shah on Thursday. The meeting aimed to strategize and find solutions to the challenges faced by Sri Lankan cricket, a matter of growing concern.

The disclosure came during a parliamentary session when Minister Kanchana Wijesekera responded to claims made by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa. Premadasa had alleged a political connection between Jay Shah's father and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging against politicizing the cricket crisis through parliamentary privileges.

Minister Wijesekera emphasized the severity of the situation, pointing out that the suspension from the International Cricket Council (ICC) has far-reaching consequences. Sri Lankan cricketers, including those in division 1, are now unable to participate in matches, dealing a significant blow to the country's cricketing landscape.

Echoing these concerns, Minister Harin Fernando highlighted the broader impact of the ICC suspension. He revealed that even ground staff, including essential personnel like ground boys, are struggling to receive their salaries due to the financial strain caused by the cricket suspension. Additionally, Sri Lanka's loss of the opportunity to host the Under 19 World Cup in January next year adds to the economic and reputational repercussions of the cricket crisis.