Sri Lanka news April 12, 2011

SLC in debt after World Cup

ESPNcricinfo staff

The World Cup has left Sri Lanka Cricket in debt to the tune of $23 million thanks to cost overruns and heavy expenses incurred in building stadiums. Sri Lanka, which lost the final to India in Mumbai, built two new grounds, one in Hambantota and the other in Pallekele, while the R Premadasa stadium in Colombo received an extensive renovation.

"We spent a lot of money to host the World Cup, to build two stadiums and rebuild one stadium. The World Cup left us a 2.5 billion rupee deficit," Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage told reporters. "We spent about five billion rupees to build the three World Cup venues."

The board was forced to pledge the newly built stadiums plus the income from upcoming tours as collateral to raise funds to pay for the World Cup. Sri Lanka hosted 12 games over the course of the tournament.

'We are not in a serious cash crisis," Aluthgamage said. "Building new stadiums costs a lot of money. You must look at it as an investment for the future development of the game."

According to Sujeewa Rajapakse, Sri Lanka Cricket treasurer, the board took a $21.5 million loan from state-run Bank of Ceylon and another $3.5 million loan from the ICC to cover their costs. "We are expecting $25 million from the ICC soon, by way of hosting rights," Rajapakse said. "Once that comes, we can sort things out."

Sri Lanka will play England, Australia, Pakistan and South Africa this year, and is due to host the World Twenty20 championships in 2012.