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Men's U-19 World Cup shifted from Sri Lanka to South Africa

Mens U-19 World Cup shifted from Sri Lanka to South Africa

Ahmedabad: Eleven days after the ICC provisionally suspended the island nation's cricket board owing to government meddling, the world governing body transferred the men's U-19 World Cup from Sri Lanka to South Africa on Tuesday.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board met in Ahmedabad and "confirmed the terms of the suspension" of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and also the shifting of the age-group showpiece.

"The U19 World Cup has been shifted to South Africa from Sri Lanka due to SLC's suspension. In fact, participating nations were apprised some days back after SLC got suspended. South Africa hosted the U19 WC in 2020. The decision got approval at ICC Board meeting in Ahmedabad," an ICC Board member said.

“Sri Lanka’s bilateral and domestic cricket will not be affected by this.: It was, in fact, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) that had reached out to the ICC and notified about the government interference in the running of the sport in the country after being knocked out in the league stage of the just-concluded World Cup following a forgettable outing.”

The SLC and the country's sports ministry have been at loggerheads for some time now. The government had accused SLC officials of being involved in corruption and mismanagement.

In a statement issued after its Board meeting, the ICC said, "After hearing representation from SLC, the ICC Board decided that Sri Lanka can continue to compete internationally both in bilateral cricket and ICC events after being suspended recently for breaching its obligations as a Member, in particular, the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and without government interference." However, funding to SLC will be controlled by the ICC and the ICC Board.

SLC president Shammi Silva had recently warned that the country could lose the hosting rights of the U-19 World Cup, scheduled to be held from January 13 to February 4, if the government's interference continued.

In a statement released on Monday, SLC had said, “While SLC focuses on resolving the suspension issue, it appears that the minister of sports is pursuing a different agenda through media manipulation without pursuing legal avenues to address the allegations.” “This raises concerns about its intention to influence public opinion and other stakeholders to achieve its objective of taking control of SLC through the misuse of his powers.”

"SLC calls for a fair and unbiased examination of the facts and remains focused on its mission to uphold the integrity of cricket in Sri Lanka and is confident that the truth will prevail in due course."

With PTI inputs

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