Homagama Cricket Stadium Controversy: Prime Minister invites flag bearers, snub other legendary past cricketers

Written by Pushpendra Albe

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has invited former cricketers Roshan Mahanama, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara today to discuss the proposed Homagama International Cricket Stadium project, Cricket Age reliably learns.

The Prime Minister will meet senior cricketers before making a final decision on the construction of a new international cricket stadium in Homagama. Among these three, Mahanama and Mahela have particularly objected to the proposal presented by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to build Sri Lanka’s biggest International Cricket Stadium in Homagama spending US$ 40 million.

“Yesterday, Prime Minister office informed Jayawardene regarding the meeting and requested him to convey the message to Mahanama and Sangakkara also” a government source told Cricket Age.

Interestingly, few other legends and former captains like Arjuna Ranatunga, Muttiah Muralitharan, Aravinda De Silva and Marvan Attapattu have not been invited for the meeting.

It is also noteworthy that Mahela, who has raised at least dozens of questions so far against proposed Homagama Stadium, in his playing days, was on the loggerheads with SLC, demanding 70% of total earnings of the board, that resulted him earning over 90 million per year. That particular time, he didn’t bother to think about development of the game and school cricket in the country. At that time, in 2013 when business tycoon Jayantha Dharmadasa was at helm at Maitland Place, some top administrators were supporting Mahela and Sangakkara in this matter. Interestingly, that time also, present SLC President Shammi Silva, who was an ExCo member than, didn’t support Mahela and others demands regarding sharing in revenue. At present as well, during the global pandemic, Shammi Silva as SLC president has supported School coaches, clubs and umpires through various board funds.

Inviting Sangakkara for the meeting is also a surprise move, given the fact that recently he was part of one of the government’s campaign.


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Pushpendra Albe