Photo Credit: Sri Lanka Cricket
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) aims to correct and address the false, malicious and misleading information circulated by the Minister of Sports under the cover of parliamentary privileges on November 7th, 2023. SLC takes this opportunity to provide the public with accurate information regarding the ongoing preparations for the ICC Under 19 World Cup in 2024.
Firstly, it is imperative to note that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has entrusted Sri Lanka with the honor of hosting the ICC Under 19 World Cup in 2024. This prestigious event is scheduled to commence in January 2024, and Sri Lanka Cricket is diligently working towards its successful execution.
Preparations for this globally recognized tournament are well underway, with ICC representatives closely supervising the overall planning and execution. They are actively collaborating with SLC to ensure that the tournament is conducted in compliance with international standards.
As part of our responsibilities, SLC is entrusted with the provision of match venues that align with the ICC’s stringent standards. In pursuit of this goal, we have taken significant measures to improve the infrastructure at selected grounds. The funds, received as grants from the ICC and specifically designated for these enhancements, are solely dedicated to the development of facilities in preparation for the Under 19 World Cup in 2024.
Furthermore, SLC wishes to clarify that the installation of floodlights and associated infrastructure at the Dambulla International Cricket Ground is in response to long- standing requirements. This initiative is aimed at enhancing the ground’s facilities to meet ICC venue standards.
The said project began to accommodate the Asia Cup 2023; however, due to import restrictions in place at the time, it could not be completed in time for that event. A public tender for this project was carried out a few months ago, and the process was closely monitored by a Ministry Representative throughout. The project was awarded in accordance with government-approved tender processes.
Any statements suggesting that SLC has spent Rs. 1.5 billion on replacing floodlights alone are false and unfounded.
In terms of project management, interim payments are made in accordance with the project’s progress and contractual requirements. Any allegations suggesting financial impropriety or mismanagement are without merit and seem intended to create unnecessary concern among the public.
Additionally, it is important to highlight that members of the Interim Committee, who were briefly in operation after their appointment, have removed vital project-related payment vouchers and documentation from SLC premises. SLC strongly disapproves of the behavior exhibited by the said members who advocated the importance of good governance and transparency and wishes to emphasize that if these materials are not returned immediately, SLC will be compelled to initiate legal action against those responsible.
In conclusion, Sri Lanka Cricket remains dedicated to ensuring good governance, transparency, and the successful hosting of the ICC Under 19 World Cup in 2024. We encourage responsible reporting and the verification of facts before spreading misinformation that could potentially harm the image of cricket administration in our country.