Former Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) President Upali Dharmadasa has protested a planned move by SLC to purchase match tickets estimated to cost Rs. nine million for next year’s World Cup to be held in Australia/New Zealand and distribute them free of charge among SLC ex-co members.
SLC Treasurer Nuski Mohamed has also voiced his displeasure over the move which had reportedly been approved by the SLC President Jayantha Dharmadasa on the request of some members.
Upali Dharmadasa who is also an SLC exco member in his ex-officio capacity as immediate past president, told “Daily Mirror” yesterday that he is strictly against SLC spending money to buy tickets and giving them free of charge to exco members.
“These exco members have been elected to office to do a service and develop the game of cricket, not to enjoy perks and benefits at the expense of SLC. If any exco member wishes to purchase tickets, he should do so with his own money, not with SLC funds” he said.
“If the organisers give SLC any free tickets, then I have no objection they being distributed among ex-co members. But any extra tickets bought by SLC should only be given to members after recovering the cost. We have not been elected to live off Board coffers” he added.
EarIier, in an email addressed to SLC President and copied to ex-co members, SLC Treasurer Nuski Mohamed also made it clear that he would not endorse the idea of spending such a lot of money to purchase tickets to ex-co members.
“I have no issue with assisting Members genuinely travelling for WC2015 matches with tickets However it appears that we are committing SLC funds upfront without knowing this for sure. Rs. 9 million if all 21or so travel, works out to Rs 440,000/- per head approx. Or is it that irrespective of EXCO members undertaking travel SLC will be purchasing tickets and issuing same FOC. I am sorry I cannot agree to same, if this is so. Hoping to witness WC matches and purchasing of tickets out of SLC funds are two entirely different propositions which needs to be carefully weighed prior to committing funds” Mohamed wrote, adding “I hope you and the EXCO members will understand my stance on this matter”.
“As I indicated to you over the telephone I am not comfortable with the idea of SLC paying out such monies in advance for tickets without determining firstly the number of EXCO members definitely travelling for the event. What is the position if after purchasing the tickets Members back out and do not travel for the event? Can we obtain refunds on such tickets. I personally do not think so” he added.
The purchase of world cup ticket has become a major issue after SLC had done the costing on the move President Jayantha Dharmadasa had approved, and found out that it was an astronomical figure.
“At the ExCo meeting held on the 1st September 2014 on request of the Members, President agreed to give 2 tickets each for 3 matches for all members of the ExCo (FOC) who are hoping to witness the WC 2015 which will be purchased by SLC. I requested my staff to obtain the preferred matches from the members and obtain cost for same from the ICC which was done. On receipt of the costing it was conveyed to the Office Bearers. Treasurer has stated that he was not comfortable with the cost which was approx SL Rs.9 million and had requested the matter be referred to the President who had requested this amount be conveyed to the ExCo to obtain their concurrence” SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga informed the exco members in an email.( Channaka de Silva)