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ICC suspends Sri Lanka Cricket over political meddling

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended Sri Lanka’s cricket board Friday, saying it had failed to ensure there was no government interference in its affairs.

The game’s world governing body said it had found that Sri Lanka Cricket was “in serious breach of its obligations as a Member, in particular, the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and to ensure that there is no government interference”.

The suspension came a day after Sri Lanka’s parliament asked the board to resign over allegations of financial corruption.

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The conditions of the suspension will be decided by the ICC board later, it said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear if the indefinite suspension would affect Sri Lanka hosting the Under 19 World Cup in January.

The crisis involving the cricket board — the richest sporting organisation in the bankrupt island country — came to a head after Sri Lanka’s humiliating World Cup defeat by India last week.

The Sri Lankan parliament unanimously asked Sri Lanka Cricket’s elected board members to resign on Thursday, accusing them of unprecedented corruption involving millions of dollars.

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The board has not yet responded to the parliament’s non-binding resolution.

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa said Thursday’s move was a “historic resolution that sends a message to the world that Sri Lankan legislators have united to defend cricket and restore the integrity of the game”.

The board is now locked in litigation after it was sacked by the sports minister on Monday, only to be restored the following day by the Court of Appeal pending a hearing in two weeks.

The ICC has rules against political interference and has suspended Sri Lanka before.

READ: New Zealand crush Sri Lanka to diminish Pakistan’s semi-final hopes

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