Sri Lanka sacks booze supplier for England tour

Sri Lanka Cricket on Thursday sacked its food and beverage supplier for selling booze without a licence during England’s tour of the island, sparking a mid-match raid by tax agents.

The decision followed revelations that tax officers seized bottles of whisky and wine being served to England fans during the fifth one-day international match in Colombo.

The island’s cricket board said its hospitality partner, Classic Destination, did not obtain the necessary licences to serve hard liquor at the ground.

“As the firm has failed to act within the law… and bringing disrepute to Sri Lanka Cricket, SLC decided to immediately terminate Classic Destination from delivering further hospitality services during the England tour,” the board said in a statement on Thursday.

There was no immediate comment from the company.

It was not the first controversy of the series, with England fans complaining of being charged more than local fans for the same tickets.

Sri Lanka Cricket said entry fees were the same for foreign and local supporters.

But its hospitality partner, Classic Destination, bundled food and drinks together with grandstand seats in packages selling for 20 500 rupees ($120).

British media described the arrangement as a “rip off”.

England fans, known as the Barmy Army, asked Sri Lankan cricket authorities to lower charges, but authorities said prices for the tickets was the same for all, so they could not be lowered.

England won the ODI series 3-1.

A one-off T20 is due on Saturday.

Three Test matches will begin on November 6 with the final match due to end on November 27. (Courtesy AFP)


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