Pallekele International Cricket Stadium

2010-10-13 21:44
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Established: 2009

Capacity: 35,000

Playing area: 80.0m long, 75.0m wide

Floodlights: no

End names: Hunnasgiriya End, Rikillagaskada End

The Pallekele stadium is wholly owned by Sri Lanka Cricket and is set to displace the Asgiriya stadium, which has hosted Tests for nearly 25 years, as the international venue of choice around Kandy. It is being built by the government-owned State Engineering Corporation of Sri Lanka and is designed along the lines of SuperSport Park in Centurion. Like the South African stadium, Pallekele too will have a capacity of 22,000 and the muddy eyesores embracing the ground on both sides are soon expected to be transformed into a replica of Centurion's famed grass embankments.

The grass banks are part of a plan to ensure watching cricket at the stadium, nestled amid a ring of trees, provides a unique experience, unlike the concrete-sameness that blights some of the world's larger cricket venues. The under-construction three-storey structure that greets you at the entrance, the organisers say, will turn into a distinctive and futuristic-looking press box.

Built so close to Kandy, which as several congratulatory signboards remind you, is the home town of Muttiah Muralitharan, Pallekele's stadium could soon be renamed after Sri Lanka's greatest cricketer. Murali's already bid adieu to the Test scene, and the World Cup could well be his final appearance for the national team. Come March 10, when Pallekele hosts the Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe league game, expect Kandyans to pack the place for one last chance to see their favourite son.




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