x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Sri Lanka axes cricket board

No specific reason was given for the move, which was immediately followed by the appointment of a new Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) interim committee.

Sri Lanka's sports ministry said on Friday it had dissolved the current administration of the national cricket board, which has been tainted by allegations of financial mismanagement.

No specific reason was given for the move, which was immediately followed by the appointment of a new Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) interim committee.

"The committee was automatically dissolved when the new one was appointed," Harsha Abeykoon, the sports ministry spokesman, said.

The SLC has been run by successive interim committees - appointed by the ministry - for the last seven years.

On Thursday, the ministry said it would abide by a new International Cricket Council (ICC) directive, requiring all national boards to be elected without political interference.

The outgoing committee was headed by Somachandra de Silva, the former leg-spinner, under whose two-year tenure the island co-hosted the 2011 World Cup.

The tournament left Sri Lanka with a US$69 million (Dh367m) bill, and media reports suggested that mismanagement by the SLC had been responsible for cost over-runs.

On Wednesday the ICC launched a probe into "black marketeering" of World Cup tickets, after its executive board received a confidential report criticising the handling of ticket sales in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

De Silva will be replaced by Upali Dharmadasa, a millionaire businessman, who has already served one stint at SLC chairman from 1996-97.

The new committee's tenure will be restricted to six-months with the sports ministry promising to hold elections - in line with the new ICC rules - in January next year.

All member boards have been given until the next ICC meeting in June 2012 to implement the new ruling and a further 12 months, to June 2013, before any sanctions will be considered.

Scorchers sign Gibbs for Big Bash Twenty20

Herschelle Gibbs, the South African batsman, has become the first international signing for Perth Scorchers, the Australian franchise, for next year's Big Bash Twenty20 tournament, the team said on Friday.

Gibbs is one of the most experienced batsmen in the history of T20 cricket, playing 23 international matches for South Africa and 113 domestic T20 games across four continents.

The Scorchers are expecting Gibbs, with a strike rate of just over 125 runs per 100 balls, to give them a boost at the top of the batting order.

"When recruiting international players you need to make sure that these players bring outstanding qualities and add value to your set-up, and I firmly believe in Herschelle we have exactly that," Perth Scorchers head coach and Mickey Arthur, the former South Africa coach, said. "I have known Herschelle for many years and have seen him destroy some of the best attacks in world cricket.

"I am looking forward to seeing him take to the Big Bash League in a similar manner and I'm sure the Perth Scorchers fans will really warm to him."

The West Indian Chris Gayle signed for Sydney Thunder on Thursday after the Perth Scorchers rejected his contractual demands.

The Big Bash T20 tournament runs from December 30 to February 5.

No contract for New Zealand's Franklin

New Zealand have axed James Franklin, the all-rounder, and a group of seasoned campaigners while handing out contracts to fresh blood as the cricket World Cup semi-finalists seek to rebuild under Ross Taylor, the new captain.

Franklin, who was also dropped last year but fought his way back onto the national team in December, topped the side's one-day batting averages over the New Zealand summer but endured a disappointing World Cup in the subcontinent.

Also cut were 33-year-old paceman Daryl Tuffey, off-spinner Jeetan Patel and wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins.

Test fast bowler Brent Arnel, all-rounder Grant Elliott and Test opener Tim McIntosh were also clipped from the annual list named on Friday, which groups the 20 elite players that receive central contracts.