Written by Staff Writer
23 May, 2020 | 9:25 am
COLOMBO (News 1st): Former National Cricketers were among those present for a crucial meeting at Temple Trees recently on the controversial proposal to construct Sri Lanka’s largest ever cricket stadium in Homagama.
Current Minister of Sports, former Ministers and SLC officials were present at the meeting headed by the Prime Minister.
“The quality of School cricket has downgraded when compared to our days,” addressing the meeting Former Test Cricket Captain Sanath Jayasuriya.
“We must focus on where our monies should be pumped. Most numbers of our players have come through the school system, so we have had no attention towards school cricket during the past 15 to 20 years,” Mahela Jayawardene said.
Former Test Cricket Captain Kumar Sangakkara said it will be extremely difficult for Sri Lanka to build a strong national team in the future if school and club cricket tournaments are not strengthened.
“The previous authorities or the ones before them had begun the construction of a swimming pool and a dormitory. That was stopped and another project was started,” Former Test Cricket Captain Roshan Mahanama said.
He added that practices of these nature would not have taken place m the authorities had followed a national plan.
The only aspiration of the politicians and cricket officials of our country was to see the largest international cricket stadium in the island being built in Homagama.
Former Cricket Captain Mahela Jayawardene, who stood firm and pointed out the future risk from the very beginning, and former captains including Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara and Roshan Mahanama, who included valuable points for it, must be commended.
The sports enthusiasts of the island believe that our country needs such leaders as well.
Sri Lankan cricket authorities should take serious note on the comments made by the former test cricket captains regarding the current situation of school cricket in Sri Lanka as well as the dilemma faced in first-class cricket.
The authorities must keep in mind that they are not pundits in world cricket.
We remind the authorities that many people have worked tirelessly to bring cricket into the country.
Explaining about the future risk of constructing this stadium Mahela Jayawardene said “A USD 40 Mn loan means we have to pay 3%-4% interest. Then the interest and the premium is 3 Mn and 5 Mn. That means we have to pay it for 10 to 15 years.”
He added that the sport of Cricket and a cricket team is a brand and that Sri Lanka does own that brand anymore.
“Recently I saw the ICC had announced pay cuts. So I don’t believe we will be able to gain the targeted revenue in the upcoming 5 years,” Mahela Jayawardena said adding “If we neglect these issues and draw our plans, we will be in trouble.”
Addressing the meeting Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said the government will initiate a programme on uplifting cricket when the subject minister together with former cricketers present a plan.
The Prime Minister requested to consider Former Test Cricket Captain Mahela Jayawardena’s suggestions and implement a program.
18 Sep, 2020 | 06:10 PM
18 Sep, 2020 | 04:49 PM
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