By Uditha Jayasinghe
Sri Lanka is expected to get $ 40 million (over Rs. 4.4 billion) for hosting the T20 World Cup later this year for which Cabinet approval was given this week.
In terms of the agreement already reached with the International Cricket Council (ICC), the T20 World Cricket Championship is scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka around September or October 2012 and 12 member countries are expected to take part. There will be 20 teams comprising both males and females and altogether 52 matches will be played in the tournament.
Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage informed Cabinet that the ICC would provide a direct grant of US$ 9.4 million as expenses of hosting the tournament in addition to another US$ 30 million the ICC expects to spend in Sri Lanka for the tournament.
The proposal made by Aluthgamage, to proceed with the programme of work, was approved by the Cabinet.
Since this will be an ideal opportunity for Sri Lanka to promote country’s image, a joint effort will be taken by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, Hotels Corporation and the BOI coming under the Ministry of Economic Development and also the ministry of National Heritage to effect suitable promotional activities to develop cultural and tourist attractions, Cabinet Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told media.
Sri Lanka with a fresh coach and captain are expected to make the most of playing on home ground as the country readies to host the T20 World Cup. Sri Lanka also co-hosted the World Cup in 2011 along with India and Bangladesh but ran into grave financial losses due to the infrastructure programme that led up to it.