SLCA gives new hope to tsunami victims

Published: Sunday, November 12, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Matara:Sri Lanka Cricket association (SLCA) handed over the keys to 94 houses to victims of the devastating December 2004 tsunami in the southern town of Matara.

The Sri Lankan association, together with World Vision, constructed two villages for some of the victims of Sri Lanka's biggest natural disaster.

The keys were presented by sports minister Jeevan Kumaratunga along with former cricket captains Sanath Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu, both of whom were born in Matara, a fishing town, and have the villages named after them.

Sanath Jayasuriya village comprises 50 houses while Marvan Atapattu village has 44 houses.

"It was great to see relief on the faces of those people. They have gone through a lot of hardship with some still living in refugee camps," Jayasuriya told AFP.

"It gives me great pleasure to have contributed to a worthy cause," he said. "I thank all cricketers and non-cricketers in New Zealand, Australia and England for their generosity."

The Melbourne Cricket Ground hosted a charity game in January 2005 to raise funds, with stars such as Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Inzamam ul Haq, Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting playing in the match.

Other games were organized in England and New Zealand.

A complete house in either of the two villages consists of a living room, two bedrooms and a kitchen. Both villages also have playgrounds to encourage children to play sports.

Streets have been named after former and present cricketers including Steve Waugh, Shane Warne and Martin Crowe.


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