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Militarising Cricket

The Sri Lankan sports ministry has announced that the three biggest cricket stadiums on the island will be maintained by the military from this month.

According to the Sri Lankan cricket board, this move is due to debts incurred by the board while co-hosting the world cup earlier this year, costing them $69 million. Two new stadiums were built and one was completely refurbished, at an estimated cost of $46 million.

The huge debts have resulted in players' wages being unpaid for many months.

"We are doing this because we are not in a position to afford the maintenance costs," Sri Lanka Cricket’s media manager Brian Thomas said. "The military is responsible for the grounds from this month."

The Mahinda Rajapakse Stadium, in the president’s hometown of Hambantota will be taken over by the Army, while the R. Premadasa stadium in Colombo and Pallekelle stadium in Kandy will be taken over by the Air Force and the Navy respectively.

However opposition MP Harin Fernando slammed the move by the government. He said the country’s armed forces were ‘taking over everything’, also referring to the selling of vegetables and the building of civilian infrastructure by the military.