Sri Lanka Cricket responsible for stadia seats arriving late for World Cup
By Hilal Suhaib
Seats at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium stripped for World Cup venues. © LT.
August 10, 2011 (Island Cricket): Seats purchased from an Australian company for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 apparently arrived late due to delays by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
“[SLC] ordered 6,100 plastic chairs from Starena, Australia for the World Cup 2011. These chairs unfortunately arrived on March 4 on board Bentonville 120 E via Port Said, Egypt after the commencement of the World Cup,” SLC said in a statement last week.
The statement did not say why the seats arrived after the World Cup had already begun.
Island Cricket learns that SLC did not allegedly meet its contractual obligations with Starena, and allegedly failed to provide the supplier with the required Letter of Credit in a timely manner, which, sources say, led to the seats arriving late for the World Cup.
The former interim committee chairman Somachandra de Silva, along with secretary Nishantha Ranatunga and World Cup director for Sri Lanka Suraj Dandeniya were heavily criticised by the local media in the lead up to the World Cup tournament. Under their watch, none of the stadiums being constructed for the tournament met the International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) construction deadlines.
Amid allegations of corruption, the interim committee headed by de Silva and Ranatunga was dissolved last month. Their handling of the World Cup left SLC in $69 million in debt due to cost over-runs.
SLC has admitted that as a result of their their current financial crisis they were unable to pay in excess of four million rupees to clear the seats from the Ports Authority.
“The current interim committee, which took office on the 4th of July, was made aware of the cargo idling in the port only recently …,” the SLC statement further added.
“Present chairman of SLC [Upali Dharmadasa], managed to negotiate with Dr. Priyantha Wickrema of the Ports Authority to clear these goods with a bank guarantee amounting to Rs.4, 79,393.00, pending an appeal for a waiver through the Ministry of Sport.”
In the absence of seats ordered from Australia, seats from the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium had been removed.
“To avoid any shortfalls we decided to take the seats from Dambulla and install them in the grand stand of the [R. Premadasa Stadium],” Dharmadasa told the Sunday Leader last month.
SLC, however, said in a statement last week that it was working with officials from Dambulla to replace the seats that had been stripped from the stadium.
© Island Cricket