By Champika Fernando
The second Test in Kandy will go ahead as scheduled after around 100 English cricket fans had agreed to switch hotels to accommodate players of both teams at the Earl’s Regency Hotel in the close proximity to the venue in Pallekele.
Sri Lanka Cricket were racing against time after the hotel has accepted more bookings than the 104 room available, triggering a fresh headache for the cricket board which is already dealing with many issues including an attempted fraud amounting to million of dollar.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) made a reservation in April for 80 rooms for members of the two competing teams at Earl’s Regency, a five star facility in close proximity to the ground. The hotel is managed by Aitken Spence. The rooms were been booked from November 11-18.
The decision by the fans came after Sri Lanka government made a humble request to the visiting guests to shift hotels to allow the players of both teams find their accommodation at the hotel.
‘Sri Lanka Cricket is faced with a national crisis in securing the required number of rooms and as such I request that as a matter of national importance the required number of rooms be released to Sri Lanka Cricket,” Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha wrote to
visiting fans. 'It is imperative both teams have to be in Kandy.’
For those affected, Sri Lanka has agreed to provide a list of goodies to make their second Test experience all the more memorable. These include, transport to and from the new hotel to the ground in an air conditioned coach along with a police escort, bottle of wine and fruit platter in room on arrival at hotel, lunch to be provided each day at the ground free of charge.and beer and soft drinks in the coach during return journey from ground.