Pallekelle - a picturesque cricket ground
The Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium where the Second Test
between Sri Lanka and Australia was played was a picture of beauty.
Taking in the action from the media box, one is greeted by the
amazing Hantane Hills and in the background is the Hunasgiriya Hills.
What a wonderful sight to behold as one watches King Cricket.
The ground and the surroundings with the playing area, the pavilion
and the media box and the extra tents have all been well appointed. The
Press Box can hold its own against the best that other Test playing
countries can offer. The venue has floodlights too.
The making of the Pallekelle Stadium was first mooted by Lakshman
Kiriella when he was the Minister of Sport. But for inexplicable
reasons, it ended as soon as it began and it was left to go into
When the International Cricket Council presented Sri Lanka with the
opportunity to co host the World Cup with Bangladesh and India, it
required that Sri Lanka Cricket look for new venues.
When the new Chairman of SLC former Sri Lanka leg spinning all
rounder D. Somachandra de Silva took over, he had heard about the
Pallekelle Stadium and his curiosity made him visit the site and see for
himself. He was taken up by site and immediately set in motion the
machinery for the rebuilding of this stadium to international class.
It took months to build. With everyone concerned with the building of
the stadium putting their shoulders to the wheel, the work went on
apace. And when World Cup match playing time came around, everything was
completed and the park, the pavilion, the media box and its surroundings
looked a pretty picture and it pleased the ICC big wigs.
Lot of cricket
Kandy is a city where a lot of cricket is played. It has given to the
game here some of the most outstanding players of the calibre of Jack
Anderson, C. Dharmalingam, Abdul Lafir, W. Premaratne, the Dorenagama
brothers Saliya and Ranjit, the Joseph brothers Steven, Charlie and
Michael, the Raj Brothers Michael and CPP, Bernard Perera, T.B.
Kehelgamuwa, the Burke brothers Franklyn and Ralston, Malsiri
Kurukulasuriya, Nimal Maralande, Mahes Gunatilleke, Ruwan Kalpage, Piyal
Wijetunge, Sonny Yatawara, Himendra Ranaweera, Harinda Dunuwille, and of
course the pride of Kandy: Muttiah Muralitheran and Kumar Sangakkara,
are names that come to mind.
When Sri Lanka was admitted a full member of the ICC it required that
more grounds be built. When Gamini Dissanayake an Old Trinitian took
over the reins as President of the Cricket Board, he immediately set
into motion to have the Trinity ground to international standard where
Test cricket could be played.
But with Trinity College having a busy schedule of sport and
requiring the ground for their sportsmen, playing international matches
on the ground was becoming a bit difficult. But now with the Pallekelle
International Cricket Stadium coming into being, all problems have been
The building of this stadium saw the improvement of the roads and
other facilities and speaking to some of the residents here, they
expressed their gratitude to Sri Lanka Cricket and their wish was that
this wonderful venue would not be allowed to go into neglect and that
matches would be continued to be played here.
Lights at all venues
We are now in an era where Test cricket is played under lights if and
when bad light intervenes. The International Cricket Council insists
that all Test playing venues must have floodlighting.
When Sri Lanka played England in England recently, the Test matches
were continued under lights when the normal playing light failed.
But cricket fans here in Pallekele were wondering as to why the
lights were not switched on when the light was fading in the Second Test
between Sri Lanka and Australia.
Must have lights
The ICC rule states that every venue where Test matches have been
slated to be played should have floodlighting. If one venue has and the
others donít, then playing under lights when bad light intervenes is out
of the question. The stadium in Galle where the First Test was played
did not have lights.
Here in Pallekelle Lights are available, but because there are no
lights in Galle and where the Final Test will be played at the SSC also
has no lights, the lights could not be switched on in Pallekelle.
Sri Lanka Cricket will have to move with the present trends and
ensure that where Test matches flood lights go with the terrain.
Bangladesh sack Captain, Vice Captain
When Bangladesh lost to Zimbabwe who were making their appearance in
big time cricket after facing a suspension, it was unpalatable to their
cricket crazy fans who were at the airport to greet the cricketers with
Now the Bangladesh Cricket Board with pressure mounting on them have
acted and decided to sack Captain Shakib Al Hassan and Vice Captain
Tamim Iqbal. Hassan and Iqbal have been their top players. But in
todayís highly professionalised game, failures become outcasts. And the
Captain and Vice Captain have suffered.
When a team fails it is unfair to axe the Captain and Vice Captain.
in order to appease the broom-stick wielding cricket fans. It is hoped
that this will not be the last that we see or hear of Hassan and Iqbal.
They are two out of the ordinary cricketers and though stripped from
their posts, must not be lost to the game.
Edirisinghe passes away
One of the finest ruggerites to come out of the Green, White and
Green School - St. Benedictís College Lalith Edirisinghe passed away and
was laid to rest on Monday. A large gathering of old boys and some of
his team mates were there to pay their last respects.
At the time of his death he was Chief Inspector of Police. He played
for the school from 1969 to 1972. He joined the Police and played in
many of their champion teams.
May the turf lie lightly over him.