Friday, December 23, 2011

Sri Lanka Postpone First-Class Competition

Financial problems continue to plague Sri Lanka’s cricket, with the board’s head of cricket operations Ashley de Silva announcing today that the country’s first-class competition, which was due to begin on Wednesday, has been postponed indefinitely.

De Silva tried to play down fears that lack of money was the reason behind the postponement, saying that the clubs had requested one on the grounds that there would be “too much cricket” following the end of the recently concluded domestic limited-overs tournament. However, this appears not to be the main reason for the disagreement with club co-ordinator Ranjan Paranavitana saying that the clubs were protesting against outstanding payment owed from the Sri Lankan board, and the ad hoc manner in which the matches have been scheduled.

It is understood that the clubs have been paid only 30% of their dues for the limited-overs tournament and have said that unless at least 60% are paid, then they would find it difficult to pay players and ground fees. They have handed over a signed statement of their problems and demands to Udaya Seneviratne - the authority appointed by the Minister of Sports to administer the SLC until elections in the New Year.

The latest financial difficulties at the SLC come off the back of yesterday’s news that the ICC has paid part of the national team’s fees for the period of time from the 2011 World Cup to 30th September. Three of the country’s stadia, built specifically for the World Cup and partly responsible for the current problems at SLC, have also been handed over to the Sri Lankan military because the board was struggling to maintain them.

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