SL guarantee security


Sri Lanka assured Bangladesh of high security during their upcoming cricket tour this month even as fighting escalated between troops and Tamil Tiger rebels, Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge said. Bangladesh arrive here on June 17 for a tour comprising three Tests and three ODIs. Lokuge was responding to a reported circular issued by the Bangladeshi government advising its officials to avoid visiting Sri Lanka, even in transit. — AFP

Gerrard to stay

LONDON: Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher have given manager Rafael Benitez a post-Champions League boost by signing new four-year contracts with the club. Captain Gerrard and vice-skipper Carragher have signed deals which extend their stay at Anfield until at least 2011. England midfielder Gerrard said: “I don’t see why we can’t go from strength to strength and win a load more trophies, not just the Premiership but more cups as well.” — AFP

Cash boost for Aussies

SYDNEY: England’s Barmy Army of travelling supporters helped deliver a $317 million boost for the Australian economy during the last Ashes cricket series, according to a study. The study commissioned by Cricket Australia found the five Ashes Tests and subsequent ODI series attracted 37,000 international tourists, who spent an average of $10,500 and stayed for 30 days. The series generated 793 jobs and $317 million in direct expenditure, contributing $54 million to gross domestic product.