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“It has been decided to suspend the proposed new international cricket stadium project at Homegama,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a release after the meeting of former cricketers.
It added that Rajapaksa had directed direct funding to develop school cricket and local stadiums.
Rajapaksa met with former senior cricketers after a public meeting against the construction.
On the Prime Minister’s decision, the governing body, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had no immediate reaction.
SLC wanted to build a new stadium adjacent Colombo, as it needed to host two ICC World Cup events which are scheduled to be held in the years 2023 to 2031.
SLC had inspected a site in Homagama, Colombo eastern suburb where they wanted to construct a 40-seat international cricket stadium with a capacity of $ 30-40 million.
It also expressed outrage on social media about the need to invest large sums of money in a new cricket stadium, which was given an economically serious time in the backdrop of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene also expressed surprise at the decision that when Sri Lanka was not playing enough international cricket or domestic cricket, a second stadium was not required.
The SLC had claimed that “the project would be a wholly and private investment of the board and no government money would be used and sought at any stage of construction”.
SLC went into high debt during the 2011 World Cup after upgrading Premadasa Stadium in Colombo and Hambantota Stadium in the south.
It demanded a government bail in 2011 in an atmosphere of severe financial difficulties. He also limited player contract fees in 2010 due to the financial crisis from investing in infrastructure development.
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