Sri Lanka minister orders probe into Sangakkara comments

COLOMBO, (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s sports minister has  ordered a probe into former captain Kumar Sangakkara’s comments  about the island nation’s cricket administrators and political  meddling during his speech to Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)  members at Lord’s on Monday.

Kumar Sangakkara

Sangakkara was given a standing ovation after delivering the  annual Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture in which he recounted  the history of cricket in Sri Lanka, ranging from the country’s  emergence as a test-match playing nation, their 1996 World Cup  triumph and the attack on their team bus in Pakistan in 2009.

The prolific 33-year-old batsman, who has scored over 8000  runs in 97 tests, also attacked the way the sport is run in Sri  Lanka, a move that brought immediate response back home.

“He is contract player. He has signed an agreement with Sri  Lanka Cricket and he can’t make a statement like that,” Sports  Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage told Reuters.

“He has to get permission. He can’t talk about the cricket  administration or cricket. He can say anything about him.

“I have written to the chairman of the cricket board to go  into this and get me a report immediately.”

Sri Lanka is among three countries that have been given up  to two years to reorganise their boards after the International  Cricket Council ordered its members to free themselves from  government interference or face sanctions.

Sangakkara, who resigned as Sri Lanka captain after their  World Cup final defeat to India in April, said cricket in his  country had “no consistent and clear administration”.

“After 1996, the cricket board has been controlled and  administered by a handful of well-meaning individuals either  personally or by proxy rotated in and out depending on  appointment or election,” Sangakkara said.

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