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'Heaps of World Cup semi-final tickets distributed at leading Colombo 7 International School while not available for others'

Several employees of Sri Lanka Cricket have brought to the notice of the hierarchy of the cricket administration the alleged malpractices in selling and distributing World Cup tickets with the name of one individual featuring prominently in these allegations.

Incidentally, the individual accused of wrongdoing is the nephew of Cricket Interim Committee Chairman D.S. de Silva. The cricket chief, in the lead up to the ICC Cricket World Cup, appointed two of his nephews Suraj and Kapila Dandeniya for lucrative salaries (US$ 5000 a month and US$ 2500 a month) to function at the World Cup Secretariat. Now the employees of the cricket board seem to be rising against one of them.

The conduct of Kapila Dandeniya, who was in-charge of distribution of complementary tickets during the tournament, has come in for criticism and scrutiny after Tuesday’s semi-final clash between Sri Lanka and New Zealand at R. Premadasa Stadium.

A significant quantity of tickets was sold through the internet for the games and those spectators who had paid through the internet had to collect their tickets on the match day at a location designated at the venue. However, at around 2:30pm on the day of the semi-final, Kapila Dandeniya is alleged to have confiscated the tickets meant for those who had purchased tickets through the internet.

"Those tickets sold in the internet cannot be removed as spectators have paid for these ticket and if something of this nature has happened we will certainly look into this," a senior official of the Cricket Interim Committee told ‘The Island’.

"It was a clear abuse of power and a high handed act. Imagine the plight of the spectator who had paid for the tickets and turned up late for the game. There must have been individuals who had to undergo this because the traffic was huge on the day of the semi-final and I feel sorry for the spectators," an employee of SLC told The Island.

When contacted by The Island, Kapila Dandeniya refused to comment on the allegations.

"Some of the players who were in the World Cup pool, but missed out on selection for the final 15 struggled to get tickets. Some of the ex- Test players were trying desperately to get a ticket to see the game, but their efforts proved to be futile. But there were heaps of tickets available for the kith and kin of those who were running the show at the World Cup Secretariat," another employee of the cricket board said.

Although cricket fans were struggling to get hold of tickets for the semi-final, a selected few had no such issues.

"There were heaps of tickets distributed among the teachers and students of a leading international school in Colombo, but when we asked for tickets we were told it’s not available," a senior employee of SLC said.

About 35 students of the said international school, situated near a famous Police Station in Colombo-7 are believed to be the lucky ones.

"I am sure those students didn’t pay for the tickets. There were thousands of spectators who were willing to pay but were not lucky. Surely, this has to be probed," the employee said. ~ courtesy: The Isalnd ~

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