Lanka to ‘christen’ Test venue in Australian capital | Daily News


Lanka to ‘christen’ Test venue in Australian capital

The news that Sri Lanka are going to baptise the Manuka Oval in Canberra with their first-ever Test match when they play Australia in the second of a two-Test series from February 1-5, 2019 is nothing new to a country that has being doing that around the world for quite a while since 1985.

After achieving Test status in 1981 and playing their inaugural Test the following year, Sri Lanka has been the country that other ICC full member nations have used to test their soils and popularity of their stadiums.

The Manuka Oval becomes the 15th international ground that Sri Lanka is going to baptise as a Test venue next year.

Canberra which is the capital of Australia is where the Sri Lankan High Commission is situated and the cricket authorities there are all agog with excitement that Lankan expatriates from other Australian states would fly over to Canberra to witness this first-ever Test.

The venue has to-date hosted 9 One-Day Internationals between 1992 and 2016 and Sri Lanka has played there once against India in 2008 and won the contest by eight wickets.

Manuka Oval is in the midst of an A$35 million renovation, due by the end of the decade.

The latest upgrade completed in January 2014 involved resurfacing the ground, and increasing the venue’s capacity to more than 15,000.

A report in one of the Australian newspapers titled: “Test a jewel in Canberra crown” states:

“Officials are confident fans will turn up as the game recovers from the damaging ball-tampering saga with the city looking to capitalise on CA’s A$1.2billion broadcast deal with Channel Seven and Fox Sports. While the Test is scheduled as a one-off, CA’s leagues general manager Anthony Everard believes a packed house could pave the way for more elite content in Canberra.

“Everard is banking on a full house in Canberra. He said he was ‘very optimistic’ scores of Sri Lankan fans will make the trip to Canberra and snap up one of the ‘hottest’ tickets in town. ‘There’s no reason why if this Test is successful depending on what the schedule looks like in the future and the mount of content we have that we couldn’t look to schedule future Test matches in this part of the world’.”

Australia’s clash with Sri Lanka in Canberra will be the second match in a two-Test series with Brisbane slated to host a day-night Test at the Gabba on January 24 beginning at 1 pm.

It’s not that all 14 venues that Sri Lanka has had the privilege to play the first Test overseas are currently in use. As a matter of fact two venues in India namely – Sector 16 Stadium in Chandigarh in 1991 and KD Singh Babu Stadium in Lucknow in 1994 and one in Pakistan – Jinnah Stadium, Gujranwala in 1991 have never hosted a Test match after their first Test, while Sialkot in Pakistan in 1985 and Cuttack in India in 1987 have not hosted a Test match since 1995.

Other venues that have not hosted Tests for a long period are two from the Caribbean Islands - Arnos Vale St Vincent (first Test 1997 – last Test 2014) and Providence Stadium, Guyana (first Test 2008 – last Test 2011).

Venues that Sri Lanka have baptised and continue to host Test matches at present are Bellerive Oval, Hobart, Seddon Park, Hamilton, Queens Sports Club Bulawayo, Gros Islet St Lucia’s, Chowdhury Stadium Chittagong, Rose Bowl Southampton and Hagley Oval Christchurch.


Pakistan v Sri Lanka – Jinnah Stadium, Sialkot 1985 – last test 1995

India v Sri Lanka – Barbati Stadium, Cuttack 1987 – last test 1995

Australia v Sri Lanka – Bellerive Oval, Hobart 1989 - in use

India v Sri Lanka – Sector 16 Stadium, Chandigarh, 1990 – only Test

New Zealand v Sri Lanka – Seddon Park, Hamilton, 1991 - in use

Pakistan v Sri Lanka – Jinnah Stadium, Gujranwala, 1991 – only Test

India v Sri Lanka – Lucknow 1994 – only Test

Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka – Queens SC Bulawayo 1994 - in use

West Indies v Sri Lanka – Arnos Vale St Vincent 1997 - last used 2014

West Indies v Sri Lanka – Gros Islet St Lucia’s 2003 - in use

Bangladesh v Sri Lanka – Chowdhury Stadium Chittagong 2006 - in use

West Indies v Sri Lanka – Providence Stadium Guyana 2008 – last used 2011

England v Sri Lanka – Rose Bowl Southampton 2011 – in use

New Zealand v Sri Lanka – Hagley Oval, Chirstchuirch 2014 - in use

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