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Andrew Fidel Fernando
February 13, 2013
Sri Lanka Cricket has received a sponsorship bid over 75% more profitable than their current deal, having called for for tenders for the three year period beginning on June 1, treasurer Nuski Mohamed said.
Sri Lanka's biggest mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata has made the highest bid at 1.077 billion rupees (US$8.5 million), while government-owned Sri Lanka Tea Board, Total Sports Asia and Madison Media have also made bids.
The current sponsorship deal for both the men's and women's teams was awarded to Mobitel in 2009, and was worth US$4.85 million over three years. Mobitel has not made a bid to renew their sponsorship.
Mohamed said the bids from the Tea Board and Total Sports Asia were around 900 million rupees (US$7.1 million). Despite the clear financial advantage that awarding the sponsorship to Dialog Axiata would provide, SLC's executive committee will still deliberate at length before accepting a bid.
"There are lots of things to be considered, including national interest, so the committee will take all those into account when they evaluate the bids," he said.
If national interest is deemed a major factor, sponsorship rights may be awarded to the Tea Board, who oversee Sri Lanka's tea industry, which accounts for roughly 12% of the country's GDP.
Increased corporate confidence in the SLC brand is a boon for the struggling board, who are clawing their way back from a $70 million dollar debt accrued after the 2011 World Cup. SLC is also set to call for tenders for broadcast rights for the seven years beginning on April 1.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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