Sri Lankan Cricket Cuts Secuirty Spending
Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) has announced a number of cost cutting measures ahead of the Australian tour of the island nation in August and September.
The cash strapped SLC will cut as much as two thirds from its projected budget for the tour which will include two Twenty20 internationals, five one-dayers and three test matches.
The SLC had originally set aside 300 million rupees ($AUD 2.6 million) for the tour, however economic distresses have seen the SLC slash the budget to 100 million rupees ($AUD 873,000).
One factor that will cause the Australians some alarm is the fact that the security budget has been decreased from $AUD 286,000 to just $AUD 51,000.
When asked about security concerns, Sri Lanka’s sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said ‘we have enough personnel from the police and the forces to give security’.
Sri Lanka has traditionally provided touring parties with tight security, which at times included military commandos. However it is believed that players will not require such tight guarding since the internal civil conflict that involved the Tamil Tigers ended in 2009.
“There is no war now, and I think there are enough officers in the military and police to assure is very good security at a fraction of the cost,” Aluthgamage said.
Aluthgamage said the moves would be put into place to lessen the gap between expenditure and profits from the tour.
“We are looking to cut down on the frills this time round,”
“I directed the SLC officials to cut down the expenses to manageable levels. The income that we are getting from this tour is around 140 million rupees ($AUD $1.2 million).
Aluthgamage went onto say that the giving away of tickets had crippled the SLC in the past. He said that there would be very few free tickets given away this time. What’s more he has also put a stop to the practice of dignitaries receiving free three course meals when they attended the cricket.
Aluthgamage has promised a shakeup of the SLC at the end of Sri Lanka’s current tour of England. One major change will be an all new administrative board, after Aluthgamage alleged that the SLC had been corrupt for far too long.
“I am inundated with reports that allege the committee helped themselves to money and mismanaged funds. We are investigating all of these allegations.”
The SLC recently sought a bail out from the Sri Lankan government as the cost of building three new stadiums, which were used in this year’s cricket world cup, exceeded budget estimations by $AUD 65 million.