Sri Lanka news April 28, 2015

Premadasa to get indoor nets, swimming pool

Sidath Wettimuny - "At the moment we don't have facilities for cricketers who need to train on rainy days, early in the morning or late at night, so an indoor facility is vital" © AFP

Sri Lanka Cricket's interim committee has taken steps to build indoor nets and a swimming pool at the R Premadasa Stadium in Khettarama, where the national side conducts much of its training. Khettarama currently has 18 practice pitches, and also houses Sri Lanka's Max Cricket Academy, but many of these facilities are out of use during the monsoon months.

"We're thinking we would like to start work on the indoor nets and swimming pool by June," interim chairman Sidath Wettimuny said. "At the moment we don't have facilities for cricketers who need to train on rainy days, early in the morning or late at night, so an indoor facility is vital. Modern training methods also demand a swimming pool for rehabilitation exercises.

"We also think it is essential to have indoor facilities in Pallekele, Dambulla, Hambantota, and to repair the Galle facilities as well, finance permitting. That's a priority for us."

The interim committee will also take steps to grant pay-rises to first-class cricketers, Wettimuny said. SLC currently pays a daily wage of around 2500 rupees (approx USD $19), but the committee plans to triple this sum. "The idea is to make cricket a livelihood for these players," Wettimuny said.

The reshaping of Sri Lanka's domestic cricket structure has also been a focus for the committee, with Mahela Jayawardene among those making recommendations to revive a provincial cricket tournament. Wettimuny said any serious restructuring of the domestic system would require significant consultation with SLC's member clubs and associations, but was necessary for Sri Lanka to remain competitive at the international level.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

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