Newly appointed Sports Minister Harin Fernando is seeking a postponement of the election of office-bearers to Sri Lanka Cricket and seek more time from the International Cricket Council which has already given Sri Lanka a deadline of February 9.
Speaking further at a media conference held at the Duncan White Foundation Sports Ministry hall yesterday, Minister Fernando said that in future athletes will not have to pay for using the ground owned by his ministry for training.
“I have to take a few decisions to promote sports and from today onwards athletes will not have to pay for using the ministry owned ground while students and forces personnel are free to watch any National level tournaments in Sri Lanka in their uniforms,” the Minister stated.
He said that athletes should also be free to discuss their problems with sports officials who will be held responsible.
“I have to look after more than 60 sports. I think that during the recent past several sports ministers assumed duties only for a short period and that made it difficult for everyone. Next year we have the cricket World Cup, netball World Cup and Asia Athletic championships,” he noted.
An old boy of St. Joseph’s College, Maradana, Minister Fernando is an avid follower of rugby, having represented the college 1st XV. He has been instrumental in uplifting the quality of sport at Darley Road.
He has a fresh challenge ahead of him in his capacity as the Minister of Sports having already served as the Minister of Telecommunications, Digital Infrastructure & Foreign Employment in his previous tenure. Meanwhile Manusha Nanayakkara is tipped to become the deputy sports minister.