Thilanga officially announces his intentions

Upali Dharmadasa coming out with a formidable team
By S.R. Pathiravithana

Thilanga Sumathipala whose elected tenure was brought to a sudden halt by the then Sports Minister Jeewan Kumaranatunga in 2004 officially announced his intention to come forward for the post of President SLC, when the election for the beleaguered sports giant will be held on January 3 2011.
Sumathipala invited the voting membership for meeting at the Colombo Cricket Club last morning and spelled out his 10point plan that he is hoping to execute on the event of being elected.

Upali Dharmadasa (left) and Thilanga Sumathipala (middle) vying for the post of President while Nishantha Ranatunga (right) will seek the position of SLC secretary in a solo effort

Commenting on his yesterday’s announcement Sumathipala said “It was very encouraging that more than two thirds of the membership was present at the meeting and I spelled out to them about my ideas for cricket and how I intend executing them.

“Along with the ten pointer, I am also hoping to formulate a five-year business plan. However, to do so I need a good team and people with good credentials to carry out my plans for cricket. There are some names in the pipeline, but, by next week I am hoping to complete my list of positions and once that is done I will announce the list of names.

Sumathipala while addressing the membership also assured that he has the blessings of the political leadership in this endeavour while he also has no barriers from the ICC about his gaming affiliations. When asked by the membership whether he could contest under the existing Sports Law, Thilanga said he has no barriers even at that point.

Meanwhile Upali Dharmadasa who is seeking his second term as the President of Sri Lanka Cricket (Earlier he was the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka in 1996 and also the Chairman of the government appointed SLC Interim Committee in 2011) said that he too is coming out with a high profile committee seeking elections on the January 3 schedule.

Upali Dharmadasa speaking to the Sunday Times said “My committee if elected will work for cricket through cricketers and will do everything to elevate the level of the game in the country. I am also hoping to revive the District and Affiliated Clubs as this area has been neglected during the past few years that the Interim Committees have been ruling the game of cricket.

K. Mathivanan who was once the secretary of the Jayantha Dharmadasa Interim Committee will come in as one of the vice-presidents while the other name will be announced by Tuesday. At one juncture Sidath Wettimuny who was a member of the Upali Dharmadasa Interim Committee was tipped to be one of the vice presidents, but, he was vehemently against contesting for the position.

However Prakash Schaffter who was the secretary and Nimal Perera who was treasurer in the Dharmadasa Interim Committee which was dissolved by the Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage a few days ago will contest for the same positions. President of Bloomfield C and AC Hirantha Perera will vie for the post of the assistant Secretary while Nihal Leuke will contest for the post of the assistant treasurer from the Upali ticket.

Veteran A.R.M. Aroos will contest for a place in the Umpires Committee. Besides the above Nishantha Ranatunga who was the secretary of the D.S. de Silva Interim Committee which held office during the 2011 World Cup will come alone to contest for the post of secretary.

Ranatunga on his decision to contest said “While serving as a secretary of a previous Interim Committee I did a lot to alleviate the standard of the clubs while finding sponsors for the first time in history. So I am sure they would remember my contribution”.

Thilanga ten pointer

1. Ensure the financial stability and sustainability of SLC.
2. Ensure a stable and transparent administration.
3. Establish a clear policy for National team Selection and Team Discipline.
4. Development of the Sri Lanka ‘A’ Team and Junior Squads.
5. Improvement of international relationships with other cricket playing nations.
6. Develop and maintain infrastructure to ensure international standards.
7. Prepare a long term plan for the development of school cricket and club cricket.
8. Prepare a long term plan for the improvement of umpiring and coaching in order to reach world class standards at all levels and to ensure that more Sri Lankans are selected as ICC officials.
9. Promote transparency, accountability and good corporate governance.
10. Formulate a code of conduct for National Cricketers and Administrators.

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