Home > Uncategorized > Sri Lanka punches above their weight with Commonwealth Games bid

Sri Lanka punches above their weight with Commonwealth Games bid

Sri Lanka will learn their fate on Friday in regards to the hosting of the Commonwealth games, and I certainly hope that we do not win the bid. But of course there are many about who are arguing that Sri Lanka should win it that it will ‘help our economic growth’ and ‘the commonwealth games will make Sri Lanka a tourist destination’. Well I am sorry to burst those people’s bubbles but that will not happen.
I probably sound very arrogant, and I agree it is arrogant of me to say this with such little knowledge in economics. Where I lack knowledge in econ I make up in experience in watching these events crash and burn. Lets take for example the beloved Cricket World Cup that Sri Lanka hosted this year. The sport is supposed to be our pride and joy, something all Lankans look forward to. It was a success, Sri Lanka made the finals, the stadiums looked nice and for most of the games they were packed. Of course once the games were over, everything started to unravel. Our captain and vice-captain resigned, our selectors were sacked, allegations of math-fixing came about, our star opening batsman was caught having taken a banned substance before the semi-final and finally the entire cricket board was sacked.
Of course what followed was even worse, it was found the cricket board had run up a bill of Rs. 7 billion for the construction of the three stadiums, one of them all the way down south in Hambantota (for those who don’t know that is supposed our next major city). Question’s were asked over the ticket sales, the black market certainly prospered. The tournament director told me that ‘strict guidelines were enforced regarding ticket sales’. Unfortunately nobody bothered to stop the three-wheeler drivers of Maligawatte from selling these tickets at near a 200% markup. Of course, the cricket board is not to blame they made their estimated profits so who cares if some one else also made a profit right?
So it has been near on 8 months since the World Cup and the cricket board is still bankrupt, to the extent that the players salaries have not even been paid. Finally, the second board has been sacked and elections have been called. What the future holds for Sri Lanka Cricket remain to be seen.
What we can do is learn from our mistakes, we tried and failed in hosting a world event. We are now trying to host an event that will see an original estimate of about half our annual budget. Of course we should remember that we have not added in the corruption and the poor financial management. So you can expect the final bill to be around our entire budget.
Then lets not forget we will be lagged with a Commonwealth Games park, stadiums and athletes village that will be sitting in the middle of nowhere without any chance of being used. This is not a problem that will be unique to Sri Lanka. The Olympic Park in Sydney Australia is faced with a similar predicament. Of course they have the money to maintain it and host the odd sporting event there. Don’t worry I am sure we can host a couple of cricket matches there. But lets not forget we have to build a city to go with the stadiums. Right now it seems as though the government plans on planting all the visitors at the Peacock Hotel. So we need to add on the costs for the whole infrastructure. I can say with certainty that this bill will be lagged with us for a fair few years.
Alright so we are clearly not ready to host this thing, and on the other hand who wants to go for it? Lets face it without the US and China Australia will dominate the medal tally, the UK will come second third will be an even fight and then unknowns from some tiny island in the pacific will get a medal or two. Clearly not a sporting extravaganza to draw the people by the thousands. When you think about it this way, Sri Lanka may be on the right track. No point building anything, no one is going to come.
But alas we are powerless, our delegation headed by the Prince himself has gone over to St Kitts along with a delegation no doubt numbering above 50. Alongside him will be our star spinner Murali, he did win us a world cup maybe he can win us the bid right? Or and of course there is our beloved Central Bank Governor, the man is a genius with money so why should he not be there to sign over our treasury. Well they did say the world will end on 11.11.11 at 11.11am, ironically this is the time we will know whether or not we have won the bid.

  1. November 9, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Do you think there is a serious chance of us winning?

    Someone was talking about this today. If its just country reps voting we may swing it our way. What a frightening thought.

    • November 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      The major countries will probably not vote for us, what is worrying is the smaller nations that will. We can only hope that Australia’s carried out a far better lobbying process than we did. But yes there is a good chance of us winning

      • November 10, 2011 at 7:55 am

        God help us if we do.

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