Sri Lanka defends interim body after ICC threat

Colombo: Sri Lanka's sports minister Navin Dissanayake today defended his decision to appoint an interim committee to oversee cricket, saying it was his 'sovereign right'.

The comments came after the International Cricket Council said the move may amount to government interference, and that it would withhold payments to Sri Lanka unless the matter was resolved.

Dissanayake had last month sacked elected members of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and appointed a nine-member interim committee, headed by former Test batsman Sidath Wettimuny, to run the sport's administration.

"I have every sovereign right to act as the minister," he said. "My actions are very much within our laws."

Dissanayake added that he had called a meeting of the interim committee on Monday to chart the future course of action.

The ICC said the minister's action was a breach of its constitution, which requires free and fair elections of office-bearers at a member board.

The constitution states that "where a government interferes in the administration of cricket by a member, the executive board shall have the power to suspend or refuse to recognise that member."

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