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International Cricket Stadium - Sooriyawewa

Monday, 12 October 2009 - 12:57 PM SL Time

By M Naushad Amit

Sri Lanka is on the verge of having its third floodlit international cricket stadium to coincide with the 2011 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup with host status obtained along with cricket`s latest powerhouse India and Bangladesh. The proposed cricket stadium for day/night matches situated in the remote area of Meegahajandura off Sooriyawewa, approximately 8 kilometres from the emerging commercial hub in Hambantota, is expected to come under inspection by the ICC World Cup officials in January 2010. Once the first phase of the stadium which includes laying of the turf pitches and grass along with other basic ICC ground requirements are completed, the venue will be used for inter-school and inter-provincial cricket matches.

Afterwards, the upcoming stadium will have to play host for two or more One-Day International matches during a home series before the ICC finally decides to give the green light for hosting one of the World Cup semi-final matches.

The stadium, still unnamed, is estimated to cost around 700 million Sri Lankan rupees and is a brainchild of the Tharunyata Hetak youth movement. It is considered as one of the projects in the area of Hambantota where a number of developments are initiated by the present government of Sri Lanka. Totally funded by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the first phase of construction began on May 17 this year according to the project coordinator Colonel Shanaka Ratnayake of Sri Lanka Army. Ratnayake who is appointed by the logistics partners of the project `Tharunyata Hetak` said the location for the proposed international cricket stadium was identified by its President Namal Rajapaksa after the initially proposed site was taken over by Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) as a part of their Hambantota harbour expansion project.

At first a location in the heart of Hambantota was selected and we cleared the surrounding area to begin with our work. But this location had to be given away to SLPA for one of their projects and after thorough consideration the current location was selected, Ratnayake told The Nation.

The present location for the proposed stadium is situated on a 47-acre land. The location will be accessible from three major towns in the area but at present is only reachable from the Sooriyawewa-Thanamalwila main road. Though it is 8 kilometres from the Hambantota town, the stadium stands 204 kilometres away from the commercial capital of Sri Lanka - Colombo. A great deal of information of the surrounding area and the facilities of the proposed stadium were obtained from Ratnayake who briefed a group of journalists who visited the site last Tuesday (October 6).

This stadium is part of the future developments in the Hambantota area and its suburbs. Construction of the stadium began in mid May soon after the project obtained the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report. Within five months we have come a long way, he added.

The stadium in Sooriyawewa is one of the three proposed venues for the 2011 ICC World Cup in Sri Lanka. Up to last Tuesday a portion of the playing area had been dug and raised to the required level where a group of 60 men attached to the Sri Lanka Army has worked hard in laying a 10-pitch turf in the centre of the ground. Along with turf nearly 12 kilometers of pipelines has been laid underneath the entire ground. These pipelines are the combined length of pipes used as the drainage system and water sprinklers. With the first phase of the stadium the dressing rooms for the teams and umpire rooms are set to complete.

The Sri Lanka Army personnel will work until the first phase is completed and from then the China Harbour Engineering Company will take over to add the spectator stands. They will complete building the entire stadium under the auspices of SLPA. But there will be a set of coordinators appointed to supervise the entire project, added Ratnayake.

The stadium is expected to fulfill the minimum ICC requirement of holding at least 30,000 spectators. However according to Ratnayake 35,000 spectators can be accommodated when the stadium construction is completed. The stadium will hold 3 mega scoreboards which will be elevated above the spectator stands. The main scoreboard is proposed to be manually controlled while the other two are state-of-the-art digital scoreboards. The main idea of having all scoreboards above the stands is to accommodate the maximum number of spectators, Ratnayake further added.

The grandstand alone will hold 8,000 spectators while 4,000 seats are to be completed with the first phase. Totally 20,000 permanent seats will be fixed while the standing pavilions have the capacity to hold 15,000 spectators. Floodlights are the main feature of the stadium and once totally completed it is expected to resemble a pearl shaped object. According to the project coordinator Ratnayake, the stadium will have an ample supply of water with three main resources around the site. The closely situated Meegahajandura Lake, three high capacity tube wells and an agricultural well will provide the stadium`s water requirements. In addition a separate line by the Water Board of Sri Lanka will be provided for consumption purposes.

With the development of the stadium few roads will boost up the current transportation system. Apart from the existing road which will be expanded as a 4-lane highway a ring road will be go around the ground which will have access from three points. According to Ratnayake, a car park with the capacity of holding over 300 vehicles at a time will be set up next to the stadium.

The whole project is set to be completed by October 2010. By this time the ground will be utilised for domestic cricket matches. With the build up of the stadium a lot of other facilities are expected to be upgraded, he said.

Source(s)
TheNation

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zaharan
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LK Information  12 Oct 2009 06:06:40 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Going by this article, if everything falls in place, the end product will be a magnificient venue.

But the SLC should also not lose focus on the ongoing construction work on the Pallakele ground in Kandy, that's another venue for the World Cup games.

Edited By - zaharan - 12 Oct 2009 06:09:53 GMT
zaharan
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LK Information  12 Oct 2009 06:09:26 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Ramz.......Delhi Daredevils were too good for Wayamba isn't it?
Ramz
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LK Information  12 Oct 2009 06:18:42 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Ramz.......Delhi Daredevils were too good for Wayamba isn't it?

yes mate, i was soooo upset to see the results,,,, i was little disappointed indeed after the toss itself ,,,,,,

Zaha
But the SLC should also not lose focus on the ongoing construction work on the Pallakele ground in Kandy, that's another venue for the World Cup games.

SLC has allocated only 3 venues for WC ,,,,, RPS, Pallekale & this new one,,,, I'm really disappointed to see Dambulla being outlined (and kept 'standby' to given this new one ,,,,,

they should have named 4 venues, IMO
Ramz
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LK Information  12 Oct 2009 06:19:35 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Anyway,,, hope someone do something on RPS wickets to be little natural..... otherwise, better to announce the toss-winner the match winner and let the crowd go home....
Lion5Den
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LK Information  12 Oct 2009 06:24:10 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Ramz.......Delhi Daredevils were too good for Wayamba isn't it?


pity - i taped the match last night and watched a little bit. good start but then karthik was too good.

on a brighter note - the U19's won their series in Oz 3-2. From the stats there are couple of very bright prospects who we might see in the national team over the next 2-5 years.
zaharan
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LK Information  12 Oct 2009 06:25:52 GMT  Report for Abuse  
SLC has allocated only 3 venues for WC ,,,,, RPS, Pallekale & this new one


Yes Ramz, as you said it would have been proper if 04 venues were selected for the 12 games allocated to us.

But still Dambulla can come into the picture, if the on-going works at Sooriyawewa and/or Pallekelle are behind schedule.
Ramz
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LK Information  12 Oct 2009 06:40:18 GMT  Report for Abuse  
But still Dambulla can come into the picture, if the on-going works at Sooriyawewa and/or Pallekelle are behind schedule.

RPS and Pallekale are almost certain,,,,,, and Prez has given instructions to accelerate the works in Wooriyawewa ,,, so, Dambulla may get the kick ,,,,,
we had 12 games already ,,,, i think we'll get few more matches if Pakistani matches are distributed

Lion
on a brighter note - the U19's won their series in Oz 3-2. From the stats there are couple of very bright prospects who we might see in the national team over the next 2-5 years.

don't be sooo optimistic ,,, we don't have a proper plan to invest such talents,,, we don't have a well-planned rotation policy in place....etc,,, we may waste most of those young talents while keeping the same XI of current outfit over next 5-10yrz.... who knows?????
Aravinda is doing a great job in hunting young talents from all0ever the island ,,,, the remaining will be on SLC's shoulder

Edited By - Ramz - 12 Oct 2009 06:42:51 GMT
zaharan
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LK Information  12 Oct 2009 06:45:33 GMT  Report for Abuse  
we had 12 games already ,,,, i think we'll get few more matches if Pakistani matches are distributed


Ramz,

Pakistan's quota is already distributed and upon that we were allocated 12 games, it was only 08 originally.
Lion5Den
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LK Information  12 Oct 2009 06:47:02 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Aravinda is doing a great job in hunting young talents from all0ever the island ,,,, the remaining will be on SLC's shoulder


Ramz

Agree. I also think that with increasing exposure for the youngsters - for example through things like the youth tours, various T20 comps etc that it will be more difficult for young talent to remain ignored on the sidelines if the first XI aren t performing.

Edited By - Lion5Den - 12 Oct 2009 06:47:28 GMT
MarkLevinson
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LK Information  12 Oct 2009 07:08:06 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Why people build these stadiums in places far away from cricket fan base ???
Dambulla is bit alright cus of infrastructure and ease of getting there......

But an international stadium in Hambanthota????
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