Minister notes Sri Lanka’s youth slump, appeals to SLC to join him in nursery fix | Sunday Observer

Minister notes Sri Lanka’s youth slump, appeals to SLC to join him in nursery fix

Sport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma makes a presentation of Rs 20,000 each made available by Sri Lanka Cricket to school coaches affected by the recent coronavirus lockdown in the presence of SLC President Shammi Silva and Sport Ministry Secretary KDS Ruwanchandra
Sport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma makes a presentation of Rs 20,000 each made available by Sri Lanka Cricket to school coaches affected by the recent coronavirus lockdown in the presence of SLC President Shammi Silva and Sport Ministry Secretary KDS Ruwanchandra

Sports Minister Dallas Alahapperuma wants Sri Lanka Cricket to team up with his Ministry and the Education Ministry to foster school cricket which is the country’s nursery.

The Minister made the remarks at the Sports Ministry Auditorium on Tuesday when Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) donated Rs 20,000 to each of the 132 school cricket coaches to help them out financially due to the Covid 19 epidemic.

“We all have a duty to work together and come up with a programme to uplift school cricket.

“At the last Under-19 World Cup Sri Lanka dropped to the ninth slot while Bangladesh who were exalted to Test status in 2003 after us won the tournament as champions,” said Minister Alahapperuma.

“I will not point a finger at any past Sports Minister or SLC as there is no point in playing a blame game. What is most important is that we work together.”

He noted that Sri Lanka had done well once in the U-19 World Cup in 2000 finishing runners up to India.

“There are 642 schools playing cricket in Sri Lanka but only 28 of them have turf wickets. As many as 450 of them don’t have a ground while only 150 have a side practice wicket.

“In my electorate of Matara schools don’t have a single turf wicket and this is the reality today,” said Minister Alahapperuma.

The Minister and SLC president Shammi Silva listened to 15 school coaches and their concerns regarding the present state of schools cricket.

They claimed the absence of infrastructure facilities, coach payments, women’s cricket and lack of sponsors need to be looked into.

“We cannot change everything overnight but it is important to take the first steps,” said Minister Alahapperuma.

The occasion was also marked by SLC providing 16 schools with hand tractors, grass cutters and rollers following a delivery of 16 bowling machines recently.

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