Homagama Cricket Stadium project suspended | Sunday Observer

Homagama Cricket Stadium project suspended

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa meets former senior cricketers at Temple Trees.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa meets former senior cricketers at Temple Trees.

The Government suspended the proposed International Cricket Stadium project in Homagama following a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on Thursday. Former senior Cricketers Sanath Jayasuriya, Roshan Mahanama, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardana and Lasith Malinga participated in the meeting which was also attended by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials, the Prime Minister’s office said in a release.

Premier Rajapaksa met former senior cricketers following a public outcry against the construction of the new cricket stadium.

Senior cricketers have put forward proposals to boost cricket locally, with former national team captain Mahela Jayawardene proposing to revamp school cricket. The Prime Minister has instructed to develop school cricket and local stadiums.

The SLC wanted to build a new stadium close to Colombo to host two ICC World Cup events scheduled to be held in 2023 and 2031. The SLC had inspected a site at Homagama to build a 40,000 seating capacity international cricket stadium at a cost of US $ 40 million. However, this drew a social media outcry given the dire economic constraints in the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country.

Former Sri Lanka Captain Mahela Jayawardene said when Sri Lanka was not playing enough international cricket or domestic cricket, there was no need for another stadium. However, the SLC had asserted that “this project will be an investment of the SLC and no Government funds will be used.”