With Sri Lanka facing its worst economic crisis in four decades, it became difficult for the country’s Commonwealth Games-bound athletes to fly to England for the Birmingham Games. However, the Sri Lankan cricket board stepped in at the right time to rescue the athletes and help them compete at the Games. The board chipped in with a massive 22 million Sri Lankan Rupees funding to aid the CWG mission unit.
The fund given by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is now being utilized by the CWG mission unit to fund the travel cost of the athletes and to cover the expenses of the competition gear among other necessary expenses. CWG chief of mission Dmpath Fernando expressed the board’s gratitude towards the cricket governing body and said that the tightly knit federation greatly appreciated the cricket board’s gesture.
It’s worth mentioning that more than a hundred athletes stand to benefit from the generous move from the nation’s Cricketing body, including the likes of sprint sensation Yupun Abekoon, who became the first South Asian to complete a 100m dash within the 10-second mark. Sri Lanka will be sending 54 men and 60 women athletes to the CWG, which is the highest ever number of participants at the CWG from Sri Lanka.
Bilateral series with Australia a big help for SLC and country
With chaos all around the island nation, the people of Sri Lanka were seeking help from anywhere. Sri Lanka Cricket got the opportunity to host Australia for an all-format series consisting of two Tests, five ODIs, and three T20Is. This eventually worked wonders for the board as well as for a country in dire need of funds.
SLC’s decision to permit the crowd for the series against Australia worked well in their favour. In addition, the broadcasting deals that the country’s cricket federation had signed were a big help in ensuring that the board wouldn’t go down with the country.