Sri Lanka news

Sri Lankan military takes over three stadiums

ESPNcricinfo staff

November 3, 2011

Comments: 35 | Text size: A | A

Three of Sri Lanka's international venues, including the newly built stadiums in Pallekele and Hambantota, have been handed over to the military indefinitely. The move comes as Sri Lanka Cricket is battling costs on several fronts.

The R Premadasa stadium in Colombo - redeveloped for the World Cup earlier this year - is being taken by the air force. The navy has taken over the Pallekele Stadium, near Kandy, while the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota has gone to the army.

The grounds in Hambantota and Pallekele, built at a combined cost of nearly US$ 11.79m, were finished just before the World Cup, which Sri Lanka co-hosted with India and Bangladesh. The R Premadasa Stadium was renovated at a cost of nearly US$8m. The country hosted 12 matches in the tournament.

The World Cup had left Sri Lanka Cricket in debt to the tune of $23 million thanks to cost overruns and heavy expenses incurred in building the stadiums, and the board had to ask for a grant from the Sri Lanka government. The board has not paid some of its players since the tournament.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by diehardcricketfan3 on (November 5, 2011, 10:00 GMT)

i'm an indian fan.. we(asians) are rocking in world cups for the last two decades... 1992(pak), 1996(sl), 1999(pak final), 2003(ind final), 2007(sl final), 2011(ind)... this should continue in 2015 wc also... my wishes to sl cricket to come back to normal... asia rockzzzzzzz

Posted by crickfollower on (November 5, 2011, 7:10 GMT)

at this way point in the legend of cricket where spot fixing has clouded the world,salutes to Cricketers of Srilanka who have proved that, even in the condition of austerity with SLC finance where few are not even paid since world cup,what a spirited cricketer can deliver: 1 his highest abilities in the demands or the game 2.with great degree of discipline.And bravo srilankan cricketers!! you have been doing this without even getting your normal payment!!! you are the ambassadors of cricket! I believe ,this character efforts would keep the game of cricket interesting and as robust as it was ever. so onus is greatly upon ICC and other boards-especially BCCI to solder responsibility to help and arrange benefit series or matches at least. and in my opinion, few individual immature statements can be rubbed off when this much is at stake.SLC also should make their relation equations positive with BCCI.I hope some way will be there which leads toward win win for all.

Posted by MENDIS_Forever on (November 4, 2011, 17:24 GMT)

@ Saikrishnan Baskaran: u r spot on mate.Those SL fans are just here for fun.Most of them don't understand what International cricket means.I was shocked when I saw the comments of Sanga and MJ abt India's Rankings on NDTV.I thought the two might have been crazy.

Posted by yorkslanka on (November 4, 2011, 17:06 GMT)

@ Freddie flintoff - when do you start your role as a comedian as your comments make me laugh..no cricket fans In Sri Lanka?no,not many fans of test cricket but you will not fund a seat at an odi- I should know I was there in august..we have more cricket fans than England as its our main sport..you will also not find fans with passion in England as we support our team,win or lose...there is much more to cricket than tests and thats way its the dying form of the game..

Posted by   on (November 4, 2011, 16:26 GMT)

Agree with serious-am-i and MENDIS_forever BCCI was always there for Srilanka right from organising Sri Lanka vs Tamil Nadu matches in the 60s and 70s, to organizing more number of tours to Sri Lanka to increase their revenue. In fact it was BCCI's support which got Sri Lanka the test status. But all it got in return was hatred from Ranatunga and insults from Sangakarra like when he said India did not deserve number one rankings. Even the Sri Lankan fans too have joined in the BCCI bashing.

Posted by maxkuiters on (November 4, 2011, 16:22 GMT)

Explain SL's poor form? Players not being paid might affect motivation?

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (November 4, 2011, 15:43 GMT)

Sri Lankan cricket is struggling financially because there are no cricket fans in Sri Lanka any more. No matter what the media would want you to believe, I have NEVER seen a test match played in Sri Lanka which managed to draw a decent crowd. On the other hand almost every test match in England is played in front of a full house. Unless, the popularity of cricket grows, there is no future for Sri Lankan cricket.

Posted by serious-am-i on (November 4, 2011, 12:08 GMT)

Its sad to see SlC giving away their stadiums to Armed forces. I have seen users saying BCCI should help on it. But do u think u see a near possibility for that ? BCCI helped in the past and all they got was the negative remarks from players like Arjuna Ranatunga who was really upset on not getting selected as Indian coach after he sent in his nomination. KS & MJ did no favor either but because of their IPL contracts that ain't a big issue. Now we have to see this as a commercial interest. If BCCI takes over stadium how are they going to monetize it ? The current status in India at present is too bad with a dismal viewership just like the last Ind-Eng series so how are they going to get viewers to travel to SriLanka to view matches. May be SLC must look at organizing any red carpet events of functions in the stadium to get the revenue running but this means they have to cover the entire grass field.

Posted by ScriptWriter on (November 4, 2011, 11:43 GMT)

Does this mean more SL-India matches will be thrust upon us?

Posted by crickfollower on (November 4, 2011, 11:43 GMT)

in my opinion SLC has been doing a great job in managing the talent, and cricketers from Srilanka have provided great role models in terms of discipline and quality of game. now SLC should learn new ways to earn the funds and BCCI can be elder brother in this regard atleast! If SLC can not, the world of cricket is going to loose a caliber of champions of the game in all the respect.so it is not a problem of one board but of- "the world of cricket" as a whole family i feel.

Posted by MENDIS_Forever on (November 4, 2011, 10:41 GMT)

ok..The BCCI always helped us.But what did we do to them? Ranatunga publicly criticized the BCCI.Then Sanga and MJ said India doesn't deserve to be a champ no.1 .Then there was that bloody no-ball from Randiv.We should be realistic.India always a faithful friend of SL (if not a mother).SL,as an independant country,doesn't need to genuflect in front of India,but say thanks to them at least.

Posted by crickfollower on (November 4, 2011, 10:01 GMT)

it is shocking!but the great thing is-even in the context of financial condition like this how greatly the SLC has been managing cricket talent in the small population!!! great example for our board having immense finance and even greater human resource!!

Posted by priceless1 on (November 4, 2011, 5:15 GMT)

shocked to hear that all the players are not paid since the world cup final ..

Posted by randikaayya on (November 4, 2011, 4:57 GMT)

This really is a blow. SLC severely restricted their cash-flow by building a pompous new stadium ina far away place like Hambantota (quite prematurely before cricket has been properly introduced to the district) strictly because of political intent. I would like to hear the reaction of the minister who is spending lavishly on securing the 2018 commenwealth games at the moment!

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (November 4, 2011, 4:52 GMT)

What does this mean? Is military going to use them for its own purpose and SL cannot host cricket matches in these stadiums? Why not privatize them and use the money for players and administrators?. ICC is only gud for imposing sanctions if a ground is deemed dangerous for non asian countries. @ Jiteendra IPL itself has its own administration problems and if it s clubbed with other asian countries there will be more problems. Any aid from BCCI is welcome but given the rift between the two boards that might not happen.

Time to move on to other sports.

Posted by Sachwid on (November 4, 2011, 4:50 GMT)

Very sad to see Sri lanka cricket facing a situation like this :(, hope the cricketers wont mentally affected by these issues.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (November 4, 2011, 4:36 GMT)

Why not SL give these stadiums to BCCI? They will make money by some IPL matches playing there.

Posted by Romenevans on (November 4, 2011, 3:24 GMT)

....And what else do you expect from Malinga? Playing for in debt SLC or in IPL to secure his future? Clearly BCCI should help SLC to recover from this situation.

Posted by KingOwl on (November 3, 2011, 21:59 GMT)

It's nice to see Indian fans expressing the view that the BCCI should help SL Cricket. Thanks, guys!

Posted by   on (November 3, 2011, 18:43 GMT)

i think bcci should help SL board.we are the richest cricketing body in the world.in fact richer than ICC!!!

Posted by   on (November 3, 2011, 18:41 GMT)

Hope SLC will be able to reclaim all these stadiums when ICC releases their funds. Best wishes for Sri Lankan cricket.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2011, 18:28 GMT)

Now every one will know why India opposed srilanka league,they thought of getting some cheap cash by making Indian viewers watch their league shame on them

Posted by yorkslanka on (November 3, 2011, 18:25 GMT)

i dont understand how we are in debt, i thought that the ground costs for the wc cost us 23 million dollars but we were meant to get a payment of 25 million dollars from the icc?? has this payment not been made yet hence the debt? if it has been made how can we be in debt becuase even with my poor maths this cant be the case?...the administrators of sl cricket are running us into the ground and be removed immediately ( along with the sports minister who should be sacked because this is his responsibility ultimately...) cricinfo please publish this..

Posted by Deepfreezed on (November 3, 2011, 18:13 GMT)

SL cricket was going down anyways. We just don't have the talent to keep up with the rest of the nations. If you look at the young crop of cricketers, there are no better than Bangladesh or Zimbabwe.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2011, 18:06 GMT)

These things happen when u put idiots in the controlling positions of a organization. Sad to see that SL cricket facing a such a situation. SLC should have play WC2011 matches at Dambulla ground without spending millions of money in building the grounds of Hambanthorta and pallekale. Such a waste!

Posted by Romenevans on (November 3, 2011, 18:05 GMT)

They want to train Sri Lankan Players to fight Against terrorists in Pakistan for the next tour? Really?

Posted by Sakthiivel on (November 3, 2011, 18:02 GMT)

Hope SLC regains and pay money. This should not discourage SL Players, Though they were not paid properly. We need strong Srilankan team to fight good cricket with us..Indian Fan

Posted by   on (November 3, 2011, 16:30 GMT)

If I were to take a cheap shot, I would say that this of course has nothing to do with giving players military training to prepare them for future Pakistan tours.

Posted by SrikanthReddi on (November 3, 2011, 15:47 GMT)

Very sad to witness this. Used to blame BCCI for organizing tours against SL. I really want to see BCCI help the SriLanka board. SriLanka are the most professional subcontinent team. Hope the players doesn't get discouraged and ICC pays all the dues to SL. All the best SL.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2011, 15:47 GMT)

I wonder now, where is ICC??

Posted by 6pack on (November 3, 2011, 15:35 GMT)

Not surprising... just another example of how the military-industrial complex works. Nothing is spared.

Posted by mgsperera on (November 3, 2011, 15:24 GMT)

this is the last thing that we dnt want to see ...policts is being entererd to the Cricket such a bad way ... Cricket is a professional game , not a militery activity.these Polititians are ruien the country...Pls do anything & destroy wht ever u need, PLS DNT DESTROY SL CRICKET ....

Posted by Jiteendra on (November 3, 2011, 15:19 GMT)

The IPL should be renamed Asian Premier League and the teams from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afganistan should take part in it with equal matches hosted in each country....If the matches of APL are held in all these countries, they can generate good revenues which would surely help them out money wise...it will also help in expanding the fan base of the competition...as the IPL is losing it charm...this new renovation can add new life to it....the number of matches can be reduced and it can be converted into a four week-one month tournament which will be much better for world cricket than IPL...it will also act as an substitute to Asia cup which are rarely held!!

Posted by   on (November 3, 2011, 13:16 GMT)

Young women and men can now concentrate on cricket instead of fighting.This might be a blessing in disguise.

Posted by bighit14 on (November 3, 2011, 12:45 GMT)

Sad thing. Not enough motivation for future cricket

Comments have now been closed for this article

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