Sri Lanka has had to prepare for the Commonwealth Games under the cloud of the economic crisis at home ©Getty Images

Sri Lanka's Chef de Mission for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has admitted preparations have been impacted to a "great extent" by the "turmoil situation" in the country.

The Asian nation is due to take 114 athletes to the Games - a rise from the 79 who went to Gold Coast 2018 - but is in the middle of a crippling economic crisis which has seen food and fuel run low.

Both President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have now said they will resign after months of demonstrations, with the former's mansion overrun by angry protesters who then swam in his pool.

Wickremesinghe's house was set alight with the Government blaming the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact on Sri Lanka's tourism industry, for the crisis.

Observers have said it is down to financial mismanagement, however.

"We have a lot of issues at the moment," said Major General Dampath Fernando, the Sri Lankan Chef de Mission for Birmingham 2022 who once held the country's second-highest military rank, to insidethegames.

"We are going through a very bad patch in the country as far as the economy is concerned.

"Honestly speaking, it's a turmoil situation.

"We are suffering without fuel, gas, and we are facing a food crisis as well to some extent.

Protesters swam in the Sri Lankan President's pool after invading his residence ©Getty Images
Protesters swam in the Sri Lankan President's pool after invading his residence ©Getty Images

"The fuel crisis is a major problem, as because of that everything has come to a grinding halt.

"People are stranded in fuel queues, running into kilometres, day and night.

"As a result things are not functioning well."

Sri Lanka is due to compete in 3x3 basketball, aquatics, athletics, badminton, beach volleyball, boxing, cricket, gymnastics, judo, rugby sevens, squash, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling in Birmingham.

With no Government money available, the country said Commonwealth Games organisers had agreed to fund dozens of athletes' participation, with local authorities backing 28 others in sports which are predicted to do well.

The women's T20 team is being supported by Cricket Sri Lanka. 

"Air tickets are pretty expensive, and the Minister of Sport has said categorically that they cannot sponsor us because they cannot get money from the treasury," Fernando said.

For the full interview with Fernando, click here.