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Insurance claim denied on cancelled match

A Sri Lankan insurance company denies a $12 million claim for a one-day tournament cancelled in August 2005.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2007 20:14 IST

A Sri Lankan insurance company has denied a 12 million-dollar claim for a cancelled one-day tournament, scrapped after a blast near the South African team's hotel, arguing the matches were called off for bad weather, not terrorism.

A tri-nation series involving India, South Africa and the hosts was cancelled in Colombo last August when the Proteas abandoned the tour and flew home after the explosion, which was suspected to have been linked to Tamil Tigers rebels.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) claimed compensation from the Ceylinco Insurance Company on its "sports cancellation and abandonment policy' worth 11.9 million dollars, signed before the series.

But Ceylinco director Jagath Alwis told AFP on Tuesday that the claim was not valid because bad weather had prevented the first two matches from being played before the South Africans flew home, despite the authorities taking out insurance for acts of terrorism.

"By the time the South Africans decided to leave, two of the matches were already cancelled because of heavy rain so Sri Lanka Cricket has no case," Alwis said.

"There are several lapses on the part of Sri Lanka Cricket. They took a cover for terrorism, not for rain. Initially, the matches were abandoned due to bad weather."

The South Africans, who had earlier played two Test matches in Colombo, left Sri Lanka after suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a claymore mine targeting the vehicle convoy of Pakistan's Ambassador Bashir Ali Mohamund on August 14.

The envoy escaped unhurt but four of his guards were killed and 10 vehicles were damaged in the blast which occurred close to the hotel in downtown Colombo where the South Africans were staying.

Sri Lanka Cricket, which had filed a case against the insurance company in the Colombo Commercial High Court last December, had no initial reaction to the announcement.