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Sri Lanka Cricket set February 9 as election deadline

Sri Lanka Cricket will hold its board elections by February 9 next year at the latest. SLC confirmed this after a delegation, including Sri Lanka's sports minister Faiszer Mustapha, petitioned the ICC for more time.

Others members in the delegation, which met ICC chairman Shashank Manohar and CEO David Richardson, were SLC competent authority Kamal Pathmasiri, senior deputy solicitor general of the attorney general department Sumathi Dharmawardena, and SLC CEO Ashley de Silva.

A four-member management committee is also to be appointed to run SLC affairs alongside the sports ministry-appointed competent authority, which has been running day-to-day operations since May 31.

The SLC elections have been delayed indefinitely since May 31 after a court of appeal, adjudicating on a petition filed against then SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala by SLC presidential candidate Nishantha Ranatunga, found that the election protocol had been flouted.

The petition itself had sought to disqualify Sumathipala's candidacy on grounds of his familial relations to Sri Lanka's gaming industry. While refusing that request, the court found constitutional discrepancies in election procedure during their deliberations, and subsequently suspended the elections.

Since then, the court has lifted the ban, but the ongoing court case against Sumathipala has meant elections have failed to materialise. This has drawn the ire of the ICC, which has been critical of undue government interference in SLC affairs in the past as well.

Mustapha's meeting with the ICC was in part to ease any concerns on the part of the governing body, as well as to avoid any possible sanctions against SLC.

Mustapha has provided assurances to the ICC that a fresh election committee would be appointed by the SLC general body at least a month prior to elections. That committee would then vet and finalise the voters' list.

There will be a one-week period allocated for all parties to challenge the selections made for the election committee with an appellate body consisting of three retired Supreme Court judges.