Sa’adi Thawfeeq, in The Nation, 4 December 2014, http://www.nation.lk/edition/sport-online/item/36016-slc-promotes-cricket-in-war-torn-north-and-east.html
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has embarked on a project to promote cricket in the once war-torn North and East of the country. As the initial step the first ever turf pitches to that province was provided by SLC to St Patrick’s College Jaffna in October at a cost of Rs. 3 million for the turf and Rs. 5 million for the development of the ground.
“Within the next month or so we hope to start constructing four turf pitches at a cost of Rs. 2-2.5 million each to two schools in the north and two in the east,” said SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga.
Further Ranatunga stated that the SLC had already constructed 30 concrete wickets in the north and east at a cost of Rs. 350,000 per wicket and are in the process of constructing a further 10 wickets – 5 in the north and 5 in the east. The SLC’s efforts are getting a lot of support from the Sri Lanka Army by way of infrastructure and logistics.
“The north and east are areas we have identified that can produce a lot of cricketers. There is an enormous amount of talent there but due to the 30-year war no development work has taken place and they have fallen behind,” said Ranatunga. “We feel that given equal opportunities there are enough talented cricketers in those areas who can go and represent the country in the future. If you look at the Under 23 and schools tournament performances you will see the vast potential that is surfacing,” he said.
Fast bowler R Naguleswaran who represented Colombo CC in the division I Lakspray trophy tournament in the early eighties was among the last crop of top cricketers to emerge from the north before the war shut out the emergence of any future players from that area.
Ranatunga expects players from the north and east to make it to the national under 19 sides within the next three to four years. – See more at: http://www.nation.lk/edition/sport-online/item/36016-slc-promotes-cricket-in-war-torn-north-and-east.html#sthash.8twjnr4F.dpuf