We did it ! - Minister Aluthgamage
Most parts of Sooriyawewa in Hambantota was jungle a few years back.
But this fastest developing area in Sri Lanka was chosen to host two
World Cup games. The decision was taken a few years back. But the
questions remained in most people’s minds.
Can Sooriyawewa hold a World Cup match? How can a jungle host a World
Cup match? Even if they build a stadium here, will there be spectators?
But not everyone thought so. President Mahinda Rajapaksa was the
strongest believer of the moto, “ this can be done”. With the close
touch of Sri Lanka Cricket Chief D S de Silva, World Cup Director Suraj
Dandeniya, Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa and Sports Minister
Mahindananda Alutgamage, the constructions and renovations of the three
venues were on track.
Sports Minister Mahindananda Alutgamage having a chat with
Sri Lanka Cricket Chairman DS de Silva, Skipper Kumar
Sangakkara, SLC Secretary SLC acting Chief Executive Officer
Nishantha Ranatunga, Ajith Jayasekera and Chief Selector
Aravinda de Silva during a practice session before today’s
match against Pakistan at the R Premadasa Stadium.
“Many thought it would be a miracle if the three World Cup venues in
Sri Lanka were ready for the World Cup before the scheduled time-line.
Some thought that at least one or two venues will have to face the same
fate that Kolkata’s Eden Garden suffered. But the critics had to eat
their own words. Sri Lanka not only marked the opening of the
Sooriyawewa Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in grand scale but also witnessed
the largest number of spectators (35,000) to witness a cricket match in
the history of Sri Lanka” said the Sports Minister. “The Suriyawewa
Ground was the target of most of the critics.
“Many tried to make political advantage out of them. It is true that
the worst weather in decades slowed down the work at the stadiums a bit.
The critics did not care about all those things. But we did it” added
Today, the Sri Lankans will take on Pakistan at the renovated R
Premadasa Stadium and for the first time, the stadium will host more
than 35,000 enthusiastic cricket fans.
“We showed the world that we can do it” said Minister Alutgamage