- No public funds would be used for the proposed US$40 Mn project
By Sandun A. Jayasekera
Cabinet spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardana yesterday said no public funds would be used for the construction of the proposed international standard cricket stadium in Homagama and added it will be funded by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Sri Lanka Cricket Board.
Responding to former Minister and 1996 limited over cricket world cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga, who claimed that spending US$40 million (approx. Rs.7.5 billion) to construct an international cricket stadium in Homagama was a waste of money. Minister Gunawardana said 26 acres of land has been allocated for the project from the Mahinda Rajapaksa sports stadium and the ICC and SLC will make the investment.
“The same allegations were leveled against the government during the construction of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Vidyalaya, but today students are excelling in their studies at this school.”
He pointed out that the government would construct the international cricket stadium in Diyagama, Homagama and also establish a special sports university where athletes could obtain their degrees and even doctorates. The cabinet approval has been already obtained for this project that would help to raise Sri Lanka’s sports sector to the international level. In the first stage, a stadium with 40,000 seating capacity will be constructed with another 60,000 seats being added in the second stage complete with parking and other facilities.
The whole project is estimated to cost US$40 million and will take around three years to complete, Minister Gunawardana said.
Cabinet clearance already given for the go-ahead