Sri Lanka Cricket, on Friday (November 24), issued a statement to clarify the confusion surrounding Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera’s spots in the World Cup squad.
Both Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera were in contention to make it to the World Cup squad. SLC was hopeful that the duo would recover in time to play during the latter stage of the World Cup. However, SLC stunned everyone by not picking either of them in their final World Cup squad although both of them were picked in the provisional squad.
Later during the tournament, Chameera was called up as an injury replacement for Lahiru Kumara. SLC has now lifted the lid on what really happened during the final squad selection for the World Cup. In the recently released statement, the SLC stated that they wanted to select both Wanindu Hasaranga as well as Chameera in the squad but were stopped from doing so by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.
“Following the selection meeting, on the same day, Sri Lanka Cricket sent the squad seeking approval of the National Sports Selection Committee, which comes under the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs,” the statement read.
“In response, the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs sent a letter to Sri Lanka Cricket on September 26, 2023, seeking medical clearance to approve the inclusion of Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, and Dilshan Madushanka, it added.
The SLC had the intention to send the two players to India “with the plan to play them at some point in the tournament after the duo recovers from injuries”. However, their plan was quashed by the Sri Lankan ministry who sought medical clearance for the players.
Sri Lanka Cricket’s Accusations against the Ministry of Sports:
Sri Lanka Cricket has also accused the sports ministry of misleading the public as well as the cricket board by providing confusing details on how the National Sports Fund of Rs. 289 million was spent. As per the release, there were differences between the documents obtained from the sports ministry by the board and the media release by the ministry itself.
“In the media release issued by the Ministry of Sports on November 13, 2023, it provided details of 47 items on how the SLC’s grant of Rs. 289 million has been spent,” the SLC release said.
“However, a document obtained by the SLC on November 23 under the Right to Information Act shows the ministry has spent money on 67 activities instead of 47 mentioned in the media release,” it further added.
The ICC recently suspended SLC with immediate effect due to the government’s interference. Earlier this week, the ICC also decided to shift the Under-19 World Cup from Sri Lanka to South Africa.
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