President Wickremesinghe Unveils Visionary Plan to Revolutionize Cricket by 2030
In a landmark announcement during the 150th anniversary celebration of the Colombo Colts Cricket Club (CCC), President Ranil Wickremesinghe pledged a transformative agenda aimed at depoliticizing and modernizing Sri Lankan cricket within the next decade. His comprehensive strategy, outlined at the CCC grounds, focused on instituting an independent trust to oversee school cricket’s financial administration and development, backed by a substantial budget.
Emphasizing the need for transparency and efficiency in fund utilization, President Wickremesinghe revealed a budget allocation of 1.5 billion rupees for the current year, with plans to increase it annually to 2 billion rupees. Central to his commitment was the eradication of political influence in cricket affairs, including the abolishment of interim committees’ powers and ministerial involvement. New legislation is set to safeguard the sport from such interference.
President Wickremesinghe’s proposal introduced an independent trust tasked with managing allocated funds transparently and driving school cricket development aligned with the 2030 vision for Sri Lankan cricket. Acknowledging the Colombo Colts Cricket Club’s historical significance, he applauded its role in shaping the nation’s cricketing heritage and awarded lifetime memberships to members of the victorious 1996 and 2014 World Cup teams.
Reflecting on cricket’s evolution in Sri Lanka, President Wickremesinghe highlighted plans to enhance cricket infrastructure, especially in less developed provinces like the North Central, Eastern, and Uva provinces. He emphasized the goal of making cricket accessible across all schools, irrespective of location, ensuring a level playing field and fostering talent nationwide.
The President’s vision extended to gender inclusivity, aiming to encourage female students’ active participation in cricket. To ensure effective fund management, a group of experts, including former cricketers Sidath Wettimuny and Aravinda de Silva, alongside a Chamber of Commerce nominee, will oversee fund utilization.
Additionally, plans were unveiled to refurbish the Diyagama ground into a modern sports campus, aligning with Sri Lanka’s ambition to excel not only in sports but also in economic growth.
President Wickremesinghe’s speech signals a pivotal moment in Sri Lankan cricket, promising a transformative journey toward excellence. The event, graced by dignitaries including First Lady Professor Maithree Wickramasinghe and prominent figures from the cricketing world, sets the stage for a new era of cricketing prowess and integrity in Sri Lanka.