Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 16 January 2011





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Government Gazette

World Cup stadia will be spot on

Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage

COMMENT: The three international cricket stadiums pencilled to hold the 2011 World Cup 50-over International Cricket Council show-piece in Sri Lanka will be ready ahead of schedule.

D. Somachandra de Silva - Chairman, Sri Lanka Cricket.

The International stadiums are the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, the Sooriyawewa Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Hambantota and the Pallekelle Stadium in Kandy will be dressed-up for the occasion and will sport picture post card looks.

The first match between Sri Lanka and Canada will be played at Hambantota on February 20, which will be the curtain raiser game in Sri Lanka.

Other games are Sri Lanka v Pakistan February 26, March 1 Sri Lanka v Kenya and Sri Lanka v Australia March 5 all at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. The game between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe on March 10 will be at the Pallekelle International Stadium. Speaking to the Sunday Observer, Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket D. Somachandra de Silva and Tournament Director ICC Suraj Dandeniya exuded confidence and vowed that all three Stadiums will be ready and that the ICC need no qualms.

Also partnering De Silva and Dandeniya in seeing that the stadiums are completed on schedule is Minister of Sports Mahinda Aluthgamage, three of whom have constantly visited all three stadiums and seen for themselves the work going on apace. The trio are working as a team and not letting anything to chance. They constantly keep the sports-loving President Mahinda Rajapaksa updated and the President who too visits the stadiums taking time off his busy schedules is a happy and contended man.

Suraj Dandeniya - Tournament Director, ICC

In fact the President had been highly taken up and amazed with the work done by De Silva and Dandeniya and thanked them and urged them to continue the good work.

De Silva and Dandeniya have constantly come in for uncharitable criticism. But having played the game at the highest levels, they know how to weave and duck these harmless bouncers and continue the work they have been entrusted with, because the bottom line for them is proving their detractors wrong by seeing that the stadiums are ready for play when 2011 World Cup time comes around.

De Silva and Dandeniya who are gluttons for work have stationed themselves in Hambantota for the past several days and are personally supervising the work going on at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium.

The Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium and the Pallekelle International Stadium are a must for the game. Cricket cannot be confined to only the metropolis. It has to be diversified and taken to the villages. In keeping with the Presidentís vision of ĎGamata cricketí, the above mentioned stadiums will certainly benefit the cricketers in the Kandy and Hambantota Districts. The Presidentís vision and mission is to see that sports in the country is second to none. The Presidentís wish is that Sri Lanka wins the World Cup. Now it is up to the cricketers who have been the chosen few to deliver and realize the Presidentís wish.


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