April 6, 2017. Courtesy: The Island.
Members of Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning squad attend a media briefing in Colombo on Wednesday to launch the 96 Legends Corner, a luxury apartment complex. (Pic by Kamal Bogoda)
The sponsors of the 1996 Cricket World Cup, Wills will build a 69-story luxury apartment complex named ‘96 Legends Square’ in Rajagiriya. The complex that will contain 300 luxury rooms, shopping complexes, movie theaters, a cricket museum and many other modern day luxuries will built in a three-acre land. The complex will be open in 2021 to mark the 25th anniversary of Sri Lanka winning the Wills World Cup.
The members of the World Cup winning squad were present at the launch of the project in Colombo. Each of the 14-members of the World Cup winning squad will receive an apartment each.
Wills have agreed to contribute significantly to help Sri Lanka’s cricketers of the pre-Test era following an initiative from World Cup winning captain Arjuan Ranatunga.
"A few years ago, I visited the funeral of a former cricketer. He had been unwell and was receiving treatment in a government hospital. There was a strike and the son of the cricketer was told to take his father to a private hospital. But he couldn’t make ends meet and instead took the father home. But a few days later he passed away," Ranatunga recalled.
"It pained me greatly that I couldn’t do much to help. The next day I visited Aravinda’s home and we discussed what could be done. Then this proposal came through Wills. I said that I will be part of this if they agree to look after former cricketers," Ranatunga added.
"Last year the World Cup winning squad visited Australia and we played two games and attended two functions to raise funds. We have used these funds to benefit our former cricketers. But the proposal from Wills will help us to do a great deal," Ranatunga explained.
Wills are expected to donate US$ 325,000 to the fund to help former Sri Lankan cricketers. The fund will be used as a pension and insurance scheme to help past cricketers.