It was a serious case of ignominy in Hambantota Stadium. In the recently concluded ODI series between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, around ground staffs faced a strenuous humiliation as they were forced to strip their SLC trousers and T-shirts. It happened after the fifth ODI. The ground staff were offered branded clothes with SLC stickers to wear in the series. However, SLC officials did not make it clear that it was only provided on temporary basis. On the other hand, the ground staff are daily wage workers hired on contractual salary. When it was time for the final payment, SLC officials asked back the attires workers were wearing.
However, it came as an unexpected situation for the ground staff as the officials refused to pay their dues unless the clothes were returned. It concluded as workers stripping to receive payments and return home. As reported, the ground staff were not informed to bring another set of clothes. A staff said the officials paid for their three days of work only after taking their clothes. As SLC did not informed them to come prepared with another set of clothes, they had no choice but to strip.
After the incident came into limelight, SLC extended an official apology. The board will conduct a strict inquiry into the matter and “stern action” will be taken against officials responsible for the incident. Per SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala, it “was a very low thing to happen.” He said, the workers are colleagues, not slaves. The President said SLC did not know anything about the incident as provincial associations are sent the clothing.
There was no decision to take the clothes back. The President ordered officials to provide new set of clothes to the workers and pay a day’s extra wage. Sri Lanka Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara condemned the situation. He confirmed an investigation to the case. He asked, “what’s the use of taking back a trouser worn for six days?”
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