No Government funds for Homagama Cricket Stadium - SLC | Daily News


 

No Government funds for Homagama Cricket Stadium - SLC

Proposed plan of the stadium

The Homagama Cricket Stadium project will be an absolute and private investment of Sri Lanka Cricket and no government funds will be utilized and/or will be sought at any stage of the construction, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a statement.

The statement: “SLC wishes to state that the renowned R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Khettarama has been obtained for a 30-year lease from Sugathadasa Sports Complex Authority of Sri Lanka in 2006 and SLC is proud to say that a substantial amount of Cricket has been played in the stadium annually and it is now designated as the High-Performance Centre for Cricket with a view to raise the game to the next level. For a considerable period of time, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has been on the watch and was exploring possibilities in acquiring a suitable land closer to Colombo to build a fully-fledged International Cricket stadium with a view to accommodating 40,000 spectators, as the need has arisen with the popularity of the game of Cricket and to best suit the demands of the World Cricket.

In the meantime, the proposal was extended to SLC by the Government of Sri Lanka allocating 26 acre land in Homagama in order to build an international Cricket stadium at SLC's cost. In view of the diverse climate and bio conditions in the Country, SLC has invested in International Level Cricket Stadiums around the country, which is aimed at playing in different seasons in consideration of the respective weather conditions.

SLC having discussed the Homagama International Cricket Stadium project, called for an Expression of Interests from reputed Audit Firms in Sri Lanka to carry out a feasibility study on the finances associated with the project along with repayments of the capital expenditure to be staggered for a period of 15 year

In view of the increasing demand for the game and especially due to the popularity of the short formats of the game, the need has arisen to cater to large crowds with easy access in an urban environment. It should also be noted that ICC has now afforded the opportunity for member countries to express interest in staging the World Cup series in the respective countries for which it is expected to have at least five international level cricket stadiums in the country with a seating capacity of around 25,000 - 40,000. It is undoubted that Cricketing events of such magnitude will bring massive foreign currency inflow to the Country which is an essential fact in today's economy standpoint. Further, it is important to note that Sri Lanka Cricket has also expressed interest in the ICC's request to host two ICC World Cup events which are scheduled to be held in the year 2023 to 2031. Taking all aspects into consideration and after evaluating the completion of a comprehensive study on the project's operational aspect and its financial feasibility, the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket will decide on how to proceed with investing in this project as the sole investor. It also should be noted that financial feasibility should assure the non-hindrance to the operational and other development projects which are currently engaged by SLC due to the commencement of the Homagama International Cricket Stadium project.”

Separately, a SLC spokesman said this project had been green lit by two former sports ministers Harin Fernando and Dayasiri Jayasekara, refuting claims that the project had suddenly come on stream during the Coronavirus pandemic. The 2016 Cricket Development Plan had called for two international cricket stadiums in Jaffna and Greater Colombo. Many other countries including India and Bangladesh have built and are building additional cricket stadiums in the hope of hosting future major tournaments.      


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