Sri Lanka cricketers seem to have come out of their batting slump and they look set to give England a good run for their money in the remainder of the ongoing cricket series. Following Monday`s impressive show by the Lankans the fans have begun to follow their heroes. Their only disappointment is that there is no live action on TV. Unfortunately, it appears, they will have to live with that disappointment.
Authorities of Sri Lanka`s leading cricket telecasters on Tuesday said that they are not in a position to provide the live coverage of the matches played in England.
Brian Thomas, Head of Sports MTV/Sirasa TV, said that the price factor has kept them from telecasting matches. `We forwarded our bid to the Sky Sport, (footage providers). But, their package is very expensive. Even though we are able to buy we won`t be able to sell it (attract advertisers etc). It`s unfortunate we are not in a position to bring live coverage at a time our team is doing well,` Thomas said.
However, he said, MTV is endeavouring to get at least the highlights package of matches. `Anyway we`ll have the Turning Point programme where I will host Ashantha De Mel (the new selection committee chairman),` Thomas added.
Gihan Samaranayake, Director Sports, Rupavahini, said that the same financial problem affected them. `We contacted the English Cricket Board (ECB) and their agency CSI. We actually bid double the amount of what some others bid, yet we failed to meet their (ECB) demand, which I say is very unreasonable,` Samaranayake said.
Cricket followers who have access to Satellite TV will be the fortunate ones during the series while others will have to depend on a live radio commentary brought in by a SLBC crew, now in England.