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Saturday, 26 February 2011






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Government Gazette

We did it ! - Minister Aluthgamage

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 Minister Alutgamage.

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


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