Even after the camp got hit by COVID-19, India agreed to continue its recent limited-overs series against Sri Lanka. The teams played out the three ODIs and three T20Is and the tour has resulted in the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) yielding profits of USD 14.5 million (INR 107.7 Crore). The figures were revealed by SLC secretary, Mohan de Silva.
The series was under serious jeopardy after Krunal Pandya tested COVID positive before the second T20I. The Indian and Sri Lankan boards thought of calling off the tour, but BCCI’s late intervention, helped the remaining two T20Is to be conducted as per plan. Had India pulled out of the series midway, then SLC would have suffered huge losses.
“According to the FTP (Future Tours Program) the tour was only for 3 ODIs, but our President Shammi Silva managed to persuade the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) to give us an additional 3 T20Is which, resulted in the enhancement of the commercial value. It was made possible because of the relationship we have cultivated with the Indian Cricket Board. We got $ 14.5 million from broadcasting and other rights like ground, etc.,” De Silva told the Daily FT.
“The fact that the BCCI and the Indian Government gave the blessings for their team to come to Sri Lanka during the pandemic times and meet their commitments was also due to the cordial relationships we have with the BCCI,” he went on to add.
Sri Lanka Cricket thankful to BCCI for completing the series
SLC had incurred huge losses during the pandemic and, several of their planned series were cancelled or postponed. Also, the board was at the loggerheads with the players owing to a contract dispute, and add to that the news of senior Pandya testing positive too came at the wrong time, putting the series under threat. Fortunately, for Sri Lanka, the tour was completed as per plan and the SLC secretary expressed heartfelt gratitude to Rahul Dravid and the rest of the members for playing the white-ball matches.
“Even the Indian High Commissioner was concerned and the BCCI. In this context, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude on behalf of SLC to the management of the Indian team, Rahul Dravid and the others, and the BCCI who monitored the situation. They wanted certain guidance given by us and the assurances, which we did by moving the patient to another hotel and so on, and we continued with the tour,” said De Silva.