Sri Lanka Cricket contribute LKR 22 million to fund nation's Commonwealth Games participation

'We need to appreciate that the cricket board volunteered to help the association,' said the chef de mission of Sri Lanka.

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Sri Lanka is currently going through one of its worst economic crises, which has brought about a shortage of essential resources such as fuel and cooking gas, among other things. This has also compromised the public transportation facilities in the country and prompted various universities and schools to be shut down. In a situation like this, it is Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) that has stepped up to play its part.

As the sports authorities were told to forget about their participation in the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, it is Sri Lanka’s cricket board that has chipped in to make an open-handed contribution of 22 million Sri Lankan Rupees to secure their athletes’ participation in the mega event.

“The Treasury said they don’t have money. Forget about it,” Dampath Fernando, Sri Lanka’s chef de mission, was quoted as saying by The Indian Express on July 15, Friday. “We fell into a difficult, desperate situation.”

It wasn’t as if we ran out of supplies: Fernando

“It’s a fairly big amount. Ours is a small country, we (administrators) know each other very well. In a crisis situation like the one at present, we need to appreciate that the cricket board volunteered to help the Olympic association. That’s very unique,” said the chef de mission of Sri Lanka.

Fernando said that transport has become an issue, adding that several senior managers come to work on bicycles. He revealed that the athletes, coaches, and other officials are also facing the same situation. “It wasn’t as if we ran out of supplies. The situation was such that we did not have fuel to transport it to the boxers,” said Fernando.

“I had to engage the sports ministry’s medical unit. Transport has become a big issue, there’s no fuel in the country. It puts us in a very difficult kind of situation,” added Fernando.

Meanwhile, the secretary general of the Sri Lankan Olympic Association, Maxwell de Silva was attacked by thugs and had his car stolen. “I later got it (car) back. I don’t know if the attack was politically motivated or because of sports, the police are investigating,” said de Silva.