Colombo: Sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has set up a four-member Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) interim committee and vowed to save the game from the mafia.
The new committee is headed by former cricket board president Upali Dharmadasa and comprises former player Prakash Shaffter as secretary, former investment advisor Nimal Perera as treasurer and former Test cricketer Sidath Wettimuny as member.
While unveiling the new body at the Sports Ministry auditorium here Friday, Aluthgamage requested all media to help him save cricket from the mafia and hold democratic elections to SLC next year.
"Let me save the game from this mafia. I don't have any personal agenda. Let me appoint a correct person democratically to head the cricket board next year," Aluthgamage was quoted as saying by The Island.
The new body will be in charge till the "first half of next year," Aluthgamage said.
"The previous interim committee (under D.S. de Silva) stayed on for more time after the previous World Cup because of my request. They wanted to resign soon after the World Cup. There were shortcomings as well as successes in that committee. I appointed the present committee only for six months, so as to take time till we can pave the way for someone, who is respectable, does not depend on the sport and really loves the sport to take over cricket administration," he said.
The SLC reportedly owes more than $15m after co-hosting this year's World Cup with India and Bangladesh. The BBC reported that last month it sought financial help from the government and state bank.
But the sports minister denied these reports and said accounts of mismanagement in cricket were exaggerated. "There is no financial crisis in the SLC," he said.