CHENNAI: First, the start of India's tour of Sri Lanka had to be pushed back due to Covid cases in the home camp and later even Indian players were infected. Yet, the series went on to help Sri Lanka Cricket earn a revenue of $ 14.5 million.
The series initially comprised three ODIs as per the FTP (Future Tours Programme) but the Indian cricket board (BCCI) agreed to play three T20Is on a request from its Sri Lankan counterpart. This according to SLC officials has helped them to enhance its financial value in a big way.
"On behalf of the SLC president Shammi Silva and the members of the executive committee, I wish to convey my heartfelt gratitude to the BCCI president, Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah for agreeing to send the India team during the pandemic and that has helped Sri Lanka Cricket fulfil its obligations in terms of complying with international commitments and retaining our commercial values," said Mohan de Silva, SLC secretary in a statement to The New Indian Express.
"We also acknowledge with gratitude the generosity of the BCCI in agreeing to play additional three T20 games during this tour which has benefitted SLC to enhance its financial value in a big way," he added.
The SLC was anticipating a deficit to the tune of one million US dollars till last year but this revenue will not only help them write it off but also give them a cushion to continue with their development programmes.
All-rounder Krunal Pandya had tested Covid positive midway through the series forcing his close contacts including a few first-choice players from the Indian playing XI to go into quarantine. However, the series went ahead with India coached by former captain Rahul Dravid fielding reserve players to ensure they complete the task at hand.
The SLC thanked the government of India for granting approval for the team's visit to Sri Lanka as well as the Indian High Commission for their cooperation in ensuring the tour.
Even though the entry of spectators was banned due to the prevalent situation because of the pandemic, the SLC managed to earn revenue through broadcasting rights, title sponsorship and ground rights.
"This revenue will enable SLC to meet its financial obligations in completing many infrastructure development projects and also in establishing five high-performance centres at provincial levels and providing excellent facilities for players to develop their skills."
India captained by the opener Shikhar Dhawan won the ODIs 2-1 while the hosts made a comeback to win the T20I series 2-1. De Silva feels the win has boosted Sri Lankan players' confidence.