Sri Lanka’s cricket board has resigned en masse following the team’s humiliating 302-run defeat by India in the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
The sports minister of Sri Lanka, Roshan Ranasinghe, had demanded the board’s resignation, saying they had no moral or ethical right to remain in office.
Sri Lanka were dismissed for 55 while chasing 358 in Mumbai on Thursday, the fourth-lowest total at a World Cup tournament. The team had also lost to New Zealand, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh in the group stage, and only managed to beat the Netherlands by five wickets.
Ranasinghe, who has long been at loggerheads with the board and previously accused it of being “traitorous and corrupt”, upped the stakes by telling officials and selectors to quit.
He also appealed to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to allow him to appoint a panel to investigate the local board over allegations of player disciplinary issues, management corruption, financial misconduct, and match-fixing.
The board sources said an explanation had been called from coaching staff over the crushing defeat. The local newspapers echoed Ranasinghe’s dismay with mass daily Lankadeepa writing that explanations were needed from coaching staff over the “heart-wrenching defeat”. “SACK THEM ALL,” screamed the front-page headline of the Daily Mirror, in reference to the board.
Sri Lanka has not won the World Cup since its sole victory in 1996, with Ranasinghe blaming the board for the “deterioration” of standards since then.
Another cabinet minister, Prasanna Ranatunga, the younger brother of Arjuna Ranatunga, who skippered Sri Lanka to victory that year, told parliament in August that Sri Lanka’s win turned out to be a “curse” in disguise that fostered a culture of corruption spanning decades.