Australia in Sri Lanka 2011 June 26, 2011

Sri Lanka slash budget for Australia series

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sri Lanka Cricket has slashed its budget for Australia's tour in August and September this year, sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has said. The cash cuts, he said, will not affect the quality of security provided for the teams, despite the board being instructed to trim the security bill from 50 million rupees ($ 445,000) to nine million rupees ($ 81,000).

"We are taking austerity measures because we can't even recover the monies we are spending," Aluthgamage told AFP. "There is no war now [Sri Lanka's conflict with the LTTE ended in May 2009], and I think there are enough officers in the military and police that could assure us very good security, at a fraction of the [originally projected] cost."

Overall, the SLC had budgeted 300 million rupees ($ 2.67 million) for the tour that comprises three Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20s. The projected income, however, was a "dismal" 150 million rupees. The board will now look to keep expenses down to 100 million rupees, the minister said. "Lots of frills like distributing hundreds of free tickets and banquet meals for invitees will be cut."

The expenses incurred while co-hosting the 2011 World Cup have left SLC in debt. Pallekele, one of two new venues built for the World Cup, will host both the Twenty20 games against Australia, one ODI and one Test, while the other new stadium, Hambantota, will stage two ODIs. The cost of constructing these stadiums left SLC a debt of $23 million. The board pledged the newly built stadiums plus the income from upcoming tours as collateral to raise funds to pay for the World Cup.