As Joe Root led English Side is scheduled to tour Island for two tests in March, Island Leisure, the hospitality partner of the board, along with few Top officials, has once again plotted the hike in ticket pricing, Cricket Age Exclusively learns.
The England team will arrive in Sri Lanka on March 3 to play Two test matches, under the ICC World Test Championship. First test will be played at Iconic Galle Cricket Stadium, while second match will be take place at SSC.
According to the sources, two main masterminds of this price hiking scandal are – Island Leisure’s Chandana Amaradasa and SLC controversial Head of Administration Aruna De Silva, who is also incharge of ticket sales and a Punchi Borella loyal.
If SLC sales the tickets by its own, the board earns big, especially when teams like India or England are touring. Studded with some of the greatest players of respective eras, Team India has always been the most profitable touring side for any cricket board. England, meanwhile, creates same amount of hype and attraction, largely due to the Barmy Army, who comes in numbers to watch test matches in any part of the world.
However, since last few home series, especially involving high profile teams, the SLC is plotting exorbitant ticket prices, by selling tickets to Island Leisure.
Cricket Age understands that Chandana, the owner of Island Leisure, is a former tour organising committee (TOC) member of SLC and a close friend of board CEO Ashley De Silva.
“The tickets for the England tour are outsourced at exorbitant prices thus depriving major income to SLC” an insider at SLC told Cricket Age.
And this strategy is bound to deprive board from getting maximum profit.
“Chandana Amaradasa was one time Tour Organising Committee (TOC) member at SLC. So he knows every in and out. He buys tickets from SLC and sales at a very higher price with value additions. He give some water, maybe a cap and a snack pack with 2 glasses of beer, thus makes bug money” the insider added.
“With value additions and high price ticket sales are low. If SLC sales it they can sale more at the normal rate” he added further.
This SLC-island Leisure partnership dents Board profit in more than one way.
“Chandana take tickets and return some saying unsold. That deprives SLC from selling those tickets even at normal price. His payment settlements to SLC is also very delayed” the insider added further.
When Cricket Age inquired further, some more shocking facts revealed.
While SLC sales tickets to England supporters at approximately Rs 4000, the Island Leisure charges more than double as 10, 800 SLR. Likewise, the AC tickets SLC sales at Rs. 6500, while Island Leisure charges 13,575 SLR.
Interestingly, Cricket Age understands that in 2015, then Sports Ministry appointed interim committee historically recorded 85 million profit by hosting Pakistan for 3 tests and as much as ODIs.
“Back then, the Interim committee hosted Pakistan for 3 Tests and 3 ODI’s. While being not regarded as a highly Paid TV rights tour, yet the Interim Committee managed to historically make Rs. 85 million as profit from the entire series which was a landmark achievement for SLC” the SLC insider concluded.