Minister Fernando’s Strategy to Reclaim ICC Hosting Rights

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Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Sports Minister, Harin Fernando, is determined to overturn the suspension imposed on Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) by the International Cricket Council (ICC). In a meeting with senior officials from the Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry at the Hotel School in Kollupitiya, Minister Fernando discussed his vision for the development of all sports in the country.

During the meeting, a senior official from the Sports Ministry revealed that Minister Fernando emphasized the need for a careful approach. He plans to closely collaborate with a special committee led by Foreign Minister Ali Sabri. The minister aims to extend an invitation to the ICC for an investigation once the ongoing court case reaches a judgment. The focus will be on addressing allegations against SLC and exploring the possibility of regaining the hosting rights for the ICC Under 19 World Cup, which had been shifted to South Africa.

Key figures present at the meeting included Sports Ministry Secretary K. Mahesan, Sports Director General Dr. Shemal Fernando, and Sports Director R.B. Wickramasinghe.

Harin Fernando, the 20th Sports Minister of Sri Lanka, previously held the same position for a one-year term from December 20, 2018, to November 15, 2019. Known for his passion for sports, the former St Joseph’s Colombo rugby player expressed his eagerness to meet with all stakeholders and sports body officials to discuss their concerns.

In his address, Minister Fernando clarified that his responsibilities extend beyond cricket. He intends to collaborate closely with all sports bodies and has already issued instructions for the appointment of a new National Sports Council and its chairman, as well as the National Selection Committee.

Despite his extensive plans, the minister has no immediate intentions of altering the selection committee or sports officials. A senior official from the Sports Ministry assured that Minister Fernando’s prior experience in the role ensures a smooth transition.

Furthermore, Minister Fernando plans to allocate office space at the Sports Ministry building for State Minister Rohana Dissanayake after he vacates his current office at the World Trade Centre, entrusting him with additional responsibilities.

Meanwhile, in his dual role as the Tourism and Lands Cabinet Minister, Harin Fernando envisions promoting tourism through sports, presenting a unique opportunity to blend both portfolios for the benefit of Sri Lanka.

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