Sri Lanka Post USD24m Deficit Due to Co-Hosting WC

April 12, 2011

According to the nation’s Sports Minister, Sri Lanka has been left with a deficit of more than US$24m due to co-hosting the recent International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup.

Mahindananda Aluthgamage told reporters that cost overruns in the stadium construction program had led to the deficit, although other economic benefits to the Sri Lankan economy are unlikely to be calculated for several months.

Aluthgamage stated: “We spent a lot of money to host the World Cup, to build two stadia and rebuild one stadium.”

Sri Lanka hosted 12 matches during the event in their role as co-hosts with Bangladesh and, their opponents and eventual victors in the final, India.

The country built two new grounds in the southern town of Hambantota and the central town of Pallekele, while $9m was splashed out on renovating R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Aluthgamage added: “We spent about five billion rupees ($47 million) on building the three World Cup venues.

“We are not in a serious cash crisis, but building new stadia costs a lot of money. You must look at it as an investment for the future development of the game.”

Sri Lanka Cricket treasurer Sujeewa Rajapakse said the board took a $21.5m loan from state-run Bank of Ceylon and another $3.5m loan from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to cover the shortfall.

Rajapakse said: “We are expecting $25 million from the ICC soon, by way of hosting rights. Once that comes, we can sort things out.”

Since defeat in the final, Sri Lankan bowling legend Muttiah Murilitharan has retired from international cricket whilst both captain and vice-captain, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have both stepped down from their posts.