De Silva did not provide an official reason for his resignation, but it is understood to be at least partly the consequence of Sri Lanka’s poor performance in the World Cup, though personal reasons had also played a part.
Sri Lanka’s sports minister and SLC have been engaged in hostilities lasting over a year, with the board’s use of finances (particularly during last year’s Men’s T20 World Cup), the Lanka Premier League, and their running of other domestic tournaments being particular flashpoints.
SLC’s relationship with the sports minister often tends to be friendly, although it is occasionally characterised by sabre-rattling. According to Sri Lanka’s sports law, the nation’s sports ministry oversees SLC, as it does other national-level sporting bodies. However, in the case of cricket, the ICC’s official policy of not allowing direct government interference in the sport has usually prevented ministers from flexing their power.
The last time the government installed an “interim committee” to act in place of SLC’s member-voted executive committee, back in 2014, the ICC held funds that were due to be paid to the board in escrow.
In any case, the minister’s two-page release accused SLC of – among a variety of faults – failing to provide so much as an indoor training facility, or a swimming pool in which to conduct fitness and injury rehabilitation work. These, at least, have been long-standing grouses from players themselves.
SLC’s officials have responded to the minister’s criticism with strongly-worded statements of their own over the past few months. But the men’s team’s performance at the World Cup has shifted the power dynamic, however briefly.