The venue of the match was in doubt after Sri Lanka Cricket authorities were unable to book an appropriate hotel in Kandy for the home team.
Alternative options have been sought with the players. The option of locating the players to Dambulla has been flatly refused by the players themselves, citing the distance. According to reports, another 5-star hotel has been considered in Matale but that too has been refused by players on the same grounds.
The Earls Regency hotel a 16-minute drive from the Pallekele cricket ground, had been fully booked by fan tour groups ahead of Sri Lankan Cricket, who had wished to accommodate the teams at the hotel.
However, according to 'BBC Sport', sports minister Faiszer Musthapha has written to the hotel to ask them to release the required number of rooms to "proceed with the event without any hindrance", adding that "the teams have to be in Kandy".
According to the BBC, the ministry said it had booked 69 rooms at three other hotels for England fans to be reallocated to, including the Jetwing Lake Dambulla, which is more than a two-hour drive from the ground.
It has also been reported that fans will also receive a host of additional benefits from the SLC, such as transport to and from the ground with a police escort and beers and soft drinks on the coach, wine and fruit platter at hotel and lunch at the ground each day.
However, the decision to relocate fans has been criticised by travel groups and sports writers on mainstream and social media.
This failure of the SLC's tour organisation committee to secure accommodation for the teams has created a host of additional costs for Sri Lanka Cricket, raising eyebrows.
On Dec. 04, 2017 the then Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara had recalled nine players just before boarding a flight to India. It was also reported that as it was the Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka Cricket who had authorised the players’ departure to India. Minister Jayasekara had notified that Ashley should pay the expenses of the air tickets of the nine players who had to turned back.
However, the notification was not actually carried out and referring to this past incident, cricket veterans question as to who will have to bear the brunt of the tour organisation committee's blunder.
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