Seeing nothing wrong in Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) decision to distribute approximately RS 338 million in last two years to its stakeholders, president Shammi Silva has claimed that the board didn’t spend even 5% of its annual budget.
Yesterday (March 21) a prominent local news paper had published that the SLC has doled out a whopping Rs 338.5 million to its voting members by way of grants and loans for various projects–from infrastructure development to payment of salaries of employees of district cricket associations–in the last two years.
The report further stated that the Board’s financial distributions to the stakeholders, inclusive of the annual development grant and various other project-specific grants, cost Rs 125 million in 2019, the year Shammi Silva led administration took over. But there’s a significant increase in club contributions last year, with up to Rs 213.9 million spent, an increase of Rs 88.9 million compared with the 2019 financial year.
Shammi Silva, however, played down the hype surrounding the spending figures.
“Comparing to Board’s annual budget, I can factually say that we didn’t spend even 5% of our budget” Shammi Silva exclusively told Cricket Age.
The news paper report further stated that the Board distributed over Rs 116 million among 20 clubs for the development of stadiums, pavilions, clubhouses and indoor development.
“So, what else we should do? Is it a crime to spend board money in development of the stadiums and infrastructure. Being the paternal body, what’s wrong in looking after our stakeholders and helping them in improving their cricket standard?” Shammi asked.
Terming it a laughable allegation against his administration, Shammi compared it with The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), richest cricket board in the world.
“BCCI spent a never heard before 8 billion Indian Rupees in constructing world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad. So, what’s wrong, if we are also spending money on grounds? If we can’t spend money on the infrastructure development, construction of new grounds, providing and upgrading facilities and strengthening district cricket associations, then its beyond my understanding that what our role is?” he asked further.
Shammi also dismissed reports that SLC billed a hefty sum of Rs. 5.7 million for the event held on 17 March, under the aegis of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, to fete the 1996 World Cup-winning Sri Lanka Cricket Team and to mark the silver jubilee of the momentous triumph.
“The figures itself are exaggerated. The cricket board billed only 4 million for the event and remaining 1.7 million were spent on the advertising. Also, the event was coordinated by the PM’s Office, the Sports Ministry and the SLC” Shammi added.