Sri Lankan bank helps pay national cricket team

Colombo, Feb 19(ANI): A state-owned Sri Lankan bank has agreed to help the country’s cash-strapped cricket board with 600 million Sri Lankan rupees (5.07 million dollars) to pay the players their dues, according to the sports ministry.

The ministry said in a statement that the Bank of Ceylon has agreed to release the funds after meetings with Sri Lanka’s sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.

Top Sri Lankan cricketers haven’t been paid since the end of last year’s Cricket World Cup, News24 reported.

This is basically due to the fact that the country’s cricket board is burdened with a debt of 3.7 billion Sri Lankan rupees, which it took to finance the building of three cricket stadiums for the global tournament.

Aluthgamage has ordered Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to pay the pending salaries up to the month of February by the end of the month. He also asked for the players to be paid on time in March.

“Minister Aluthgamage also in writing, had instructed the officials of SLC not to overlook contract payments in the future and Sri Lanka Cricket should take the full responsibility to ensure that the player payments are made on time in the future,” the statement said.

The sports minister previously promised Sri Lanka’s players that their pending payments would be fully paid by January.

Sri Lanka’s one-day team is currently playing a triangular series in Australia along with India. (ANI)