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Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has sanctioned Rs 56 million (US$495,421) to be spent on the ten Tier A clubs playing domestic tournaments this season in an effort to make the events more professional.
The Sinhalese Sports Club, Nondescripts Cricket Club, Colombo Cricket Club, Colts Cricket Club, Bloomfield, Tamil Union, Badureliya, Chilaw Marians, Ragama and Moors Cricket Club will each receive Rs 3.93 million ($34,767) to cover their player fees, match fees and administration fees for the season. They will also be given coloured uniforms for the limited-overs and Twenty20 matches.
For the first time, SLC will pay a monthly retainer to 15 players from each club. A total of Rs 1.05 million ($9,289) has been set aside for that purpose. The board will also pay the club coaches Rs 50,000 ($442) a month for ten months, apart from allowances to managers, trainers and masseurs. Earlier, the board distributed bowling machines worth Rs 500,000 ($4,423) each to the clubs.
The clubs play the Premier Limited Overs tournament between November 14 to December 21 and the first-class Premier League tournament between January 17 and March 23.
Meanwhile, SLC hopes to have the Pallakelle Stadium in Kandy ready for domestic matches by January-February next year. "We are hoping to complete the playing area, pavilion and dressing rooms so that by January-February next year we will be able to play Premier trophy and provincial matches there," K Mathivanan, the board secretary, said.
The stadium, a 20-minute drive from Kandy town, is expected to be ready to host Test matches only by 2011. "At the moment the drainage lines are being laid on the ground after which the sprinkler system will be put in place. The entire outfield will be planted with grass and the pitches attended to. The scoreboard and sight screens along with the media centre are also scheduled for construction."