Sri Lanka: Women in a soup

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Women cricketers enter hospital with diarrhoea and stomach ailments in food poisoning saga

By Channaka de Silva

Over 15 aspiring Sri Lanka women cricketers were admitted to the Kurunegala hospital due to food poisoning caused by sub standard lunch provided to them by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) during a provincial tournament to select players for the Sri Lanka “A” pool.

Sources said that one player was in a serious condition and several others needed treatment at the hospital for complaints of diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach pain.

 “The number of cases are still increasing. It is really bad”, an official told the “Daily Mirror” last night.

“The girls are crying in pain. It is pathetic to see their conditions. Anyone here seeing their condition would be angry at the authorities for making innocent players suffer like this for them to earn a little commission from the food” said one official who was on the spot yesterday.

The tournament was conducted in two groups for six Provincial teams – Basnahira South, Basnahira North, Wayamba, Kandurata, Ruhuna and a Combined team from Tuesday to Friday at two venues – Welagedara Stadium and Maliyadeva College ground in Kurunegala.Sources said that well-known radio commentator Wijesekara Walisundera who is a staunch supporter of SLC interim committee chairman Arjuna Ranatunga had been awarded the contract to supply food for the tournament by SLC.

Walisundera had procured food from a place called Richard’s Guest House in Kurunegala, which one source alleged is not equipped to meet such a large order as over 150 lunch packets were required for the tournament.

Sources said that Walisundera had won the deal to supply food ahead of a lower quotation.

Even the manager of the players who was staying with them (players) had suffered the food poisoning, and SLC officials had obtained a written report from the medical officer of the Kurunegala hospital that the cause for the illness of players was food poisoning.

Ironically, SLC has not taken steps to change the food supplier despite the disaster and will continue to supply food even today, sources added.

“It is the most pathetic thing about this all. The supplier will continue to provide food for the tournament till Friday. Officials here are helpless as orders come from the higher offices” said one official yesterday.




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