Sri Lanka Cricket has resumed its domestic cricket season, which was halted nearly three weeks ago, after coming to an understanding with the country's sports ministry over a dispute surrounding the restructuring of the domestic tournaments. As such the Major Club three-day tournament and the Tier B Club three-day tournament will resume on Friday, September 22.
"Consent was given by the Ministry of Sports and Youth, subsequent to a meeting held between Sri Lanka Cricket and the Ministry of Sports," an SLC media release stated. "Following the meeting, in a letter addressed to Sri Lanka Cricket, the Ministry of Sports and Youth further clarified the direction given by the Director General of Sports pertaining to the ratification of an appeal advisory committee decision by the Hon. Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, which resulted in domestic cricket tournaments being halted, until further clarification was sought on the matter."
While the exact contents of the meeting haven't been disclosed, ESPNcricinfo understands that the ministry had agreed to abide by the Court of Appeal's decision to allow the tournament to continue uninterrupted until a decision is taken in the case of Gesto Cricket Club (GCC) versus SLC.
The case, which had seen GCC argue against a decision taken at an SLC Emergency General Meeting to change the tournament structure, is due to be taken up again on September 26.
Sri Lanka's sports ministry had become involved in the matter after GCC, unhappy with the court's decision to allow the tournament to continue while the case was being heard, had appealed to the sports ministry directly.
This led to a dispute between SLC and the sports ministry, in which the latter claimed that any change to the structure of a tournament would need to be done via a change to the SLC constitution, itself something that could only be made through with the approval of the sports ministry.
SLC however argued that, after it had written to and not received a response from the sports minister regarding the proposed changes, it had gone ahead with it regardless as it had been voted for by the SLC membership. This view was bolstered by the fact that change in structure itself was to one that had been in place for several years prior - as such SLC believed it was reasonable to assume that this would not be an issue. Aside from that, there is also disagreement in some quarters over whether in fact a change to tournament structure requires the explicit approval of the sports ministry.