In a unanimous decision, the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board has relocated the U19 Cricket World Cup 2024 from Sri Lanka to South Africa, as reported by ESPN Cricinfo on Tuesday. The move comes in the wake of the ICC’s provisional suspension of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) due to a failure to prevent government interference in its affairs.
The ICC found the SLC to be “in serious breach of its obligations as a Member,” specifically in managing its affairs autonomously and preventing government interference. This decision followed a day after Sri Lanka’s parliament called for the board’s resignation over allegations of financial corruption.
The conditions of the suspension on SLC will be determined by the ICC board at a later time, according to an official statement. The cricket body’s move comes in response to the crisis faced by SLC after Sri Lanka’s World Cup defeat by India, leading to calls for the resignation of the board members by the parliament.
The parliament’s resolution, which calls for the removal of SLC’s elected board members due to allegations of significant corruption involving millions of dollars, awaits a response from the board. Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa called the resolution a “historic” move that signals unity among Sri Lankan legislators to defend cricket and restore the game’s integrity.
While the sports board was initially dismissed by the minister, it was reinstated by the Court of Appeal pending litigation in two weeks. The ICC, known for its strict regulations against political influence in cricket, has previously taken disciplinary actions against Sri Lanka.
The U19 Cricket World Cup 2024 schedule was unveiled by the ICC in September, but with Sri Lanka’s suspension, uncertainty looms over whether the tournament will proceed according to the previously announced schedule.