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                      KDCA and CPCA snubbed for upcoming matches

It has been a slap bang across the face of the officials of the Kandy District Cricket Association and the Central Province Cricket Association as they have been totally ignored like outcastes by the officials concerned for the forthcoming limited over matches between Sri Lanka and Pakistan which are due to be played at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on June 7 and 9.The Secretary of the Kandy District Cricket Association Roland Perera who was also the Venue Manager for the World Cup matches played here last year said upto yesterday they had been not informed of these matches and the role they will have to play. They have been totally kept in the dark which is a bad blow to the image of the Kandy District CA as a self respecting organisation.He said a few days back one of the officials had informed him over the mobile phone that by some luck they may have to host these two matches but spelt out no details. An emergency meeting of the Executive Committee of the Kandy District CA was summoned at the Regional Cricket Office at the Asgiriya Stadium last Friday and the members apprised of the situation. The angry members had shown their displeasure by telling the top officials not to go even to witness these matches and if they want they could do so without wearing their clothes.The Secretary of the Central Province Cricket Association Janaka Pathirana said that he has organised over 40 international matches in Kandy against almost all the test playing nations as the Venue Director or Venue Manager and came in for a lot of praise by match referees such as England cricketer Raman Subba Row, West Indian Clive Lloyd, Chris Broad and Basil D’Oliveira just to name a few. It was not only the match arrangements but also the ground arrangements that were handled by him, at the Asgiriya International Stadium. In time of drought he used his influence to water the ground with bowser load of water in the pre-match preparations. Then, security arrangements which included nearly 400 policemen on duty, portable drinking water in plastic shells, mobile toilets, ambulances, doctors in attendance were all arranged by him on a free of charge basis. All this was done in the best interest of cricket so that the game could be played without any hindrance.He recalled in the match between Sri Lanka and Australia, two Australian cricketers Jason Gillespie and Mark Waugh collided on the grounds going for a catch and both cricketers were rushed for medical treatment within a matter of minutes and a possible damage to the match arrangements was averted. No complaint was made by anyone.Janaka Pathirana said that on match days he used to turn up at the venue around 6 am and the covers were removed under his personal inspection. After close of play he was there for not only covering of the pitch but also the entire grounds, knowing well the fickle weather conditions in Kandy.Last year when the Australian cricketers were here, the then Interim Committee appealed to him to find volunteers to work during the matches on a free of charge basis. He had to find over 200 of them who responded to his request. This he had to do as the Sri Lanka Cricket was not financially well off. He had to hire vehicles and drop these cricketers home after the day-night matches. He said, “We toiled so hard so that cricket will benefit and this is what we get in return – totally discarded and unwanted.”Upto yesterday they had not received a single invitation or complementary tickets, so that the member clubs of the KDCA could be given as it has been the practice in the past. It has been also a practice to send out invitations to the Chief Minister, Governor of the Province, Judges, Professionals, Kandy Mayor and others, but they are unable to go ahead with these as they has not received any invitation documents from the SLC.“We also issue complementary tickets to a restricted number of school boys and this is also not possible. We tried to purchase the lowest priced tickets which is Rs 300/which we feel is far too much when the World Cup tickets were priced at Rs. 50/- for the poor to watch the matches from “Ghandhi Stands” so we are definitely going to pull out,” he concluded. Tilina Tennakoon who heads both the KDCA and CPCA was not available for his comments.
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