Former Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) President Thilanga Sumathipala’s theory has always been very simple : oblige big time to those, who gives him free hand or supports him to rule the game in the Island. The 48 million gift to Hettipola cricket ground is another example of this. As a Sports Minister, Dayasiri Jayasekara covered all the wrongdoings of Sumathipala’s administration. In return, Sumathipala gifted his home town ground 48 million rupees, even though the ground was not associated with the SLC!
Cricket Age has the access of Management Committee meeting minutes that says that an amount of Rs. 48,793,945/+ taxes had been awarded direct to the sole bidder identified as ‘Jayasinghe Contractors’ in March 2018,
The motive behind this move was to oblige Jayasekara, who had even changed the SLC constitution according to Sumathipala’s wish. Jayasekara who had received his primary education from Hettipola Junior School was keen to establish a Cricket Centre in Hettipola, so Sumathipala gifted him 48 million rupees for that.
Although, the leading top division cricket-playing schools and clubs from the District were against this idea as Hettipola Cricket Ground is located over 50km away from Kurunegala. In addition, the welagedara Stadium, that has produced international cricketers like Ranjith Madurusinghe and Ajith Ekanayake, is still struggling to get practice facilities. During his two year disastrousful tenure at SLC, Sumathipala administration didn’t give a single rupee to welagedara Stadium.
“This money belongs to SLC stakeholders. However, Sumathipala was notorious to support only few selected clubs like CCC. Instead of developing Welagedara Stadium, Sumathipala administration chose to gift that money to Hettipola cricket ground, in order to oblige Dayasiri Jayasekara” a Cricket expert from Kurunegala told Cricket Age.