Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will consult senior cricketers before making a final decision on whether the construction of a new international cricket stadium in Homagama will go ahead, after the project received a severe backlash on social media in recent days, with citizens questioning if this was the need of the hour.
The Daily Mirror learns that some senior players have objected to the construction of the stadium at the moment as it is a time when the country is trying to revive itself economically following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The backlash caused by the citizens, has also been bought to the Prime Minister’s attention.the land in Homagama handed over to Sri Lanka cricket, was done so with the aim of transforming the area into a sports city which will also include a sports university. However, plans were halted after the spread of the pandemic crippled the economy. Former MP Namal Rajapaksa told Daily Mirror that while infrastructure developments was vital for any sport, the construction of a new cricket stadium should not be a priority presently as the country’s economy was affected by the pandemic.“the authorities must always involve all stakeholders and get their opinion before taking the final decision,” Namal said.
His brother Yoshitha Rajapaksa, on his official twitter account called upon
Sri Lanka Cricket to put the funds to construct the new stadium to better use such as further developing the sport by launching projects in areas that lack infrastructure which will enable to hunt for more talent for the sport. Former cricketer Mahela Jayawardena has also criticized the move on his social media account stating Sri Lanka does not even play enough international cricket or domestic first class cricket in the existing stadiums. (JAMILA HUSAIN)