Sri Lanka’s richest sports body seeks state bank bailout

June, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lanka Cricket is seeking government grants and a soft loan to meet part of the $69 million it spent on co-hosting the 2011 World Cup, the island’s sports minister said Tuesday. The governing body has asked for a grant of two billion rupees ($18.35 million) and a 1.5-billion-rupee loan from the state-run Bank of Ceylon, minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said.

“Sri Lanka Cricket ran out of funds after hosting the World Cup and sought government help to settle some payments,” the minister told reporters in Colombo.

Sri Lanka, which lost the final to India by six wickets, hosted 12 matches during the World Cup, with others held in India and Bangladesh.

The island built brand new grounds in the southern town of Hambantota and the central town of Pallekele while nearly eight million dollars was spent to renovate the R. Premadasa stadium in Colombo.

“In total, we spent about five billion rupees ($46 million) to build the three World Cup venues,” Aluthgamage said.

The minister said the governing body was forced to pledge the newly-built stadiums, along with income from upcoming tours, as collateral to raise funds to pay for the lavish tournament that ended on A