By Osanda Gunaratna
In the final edition of T20 Venues of Sri Lanka we discuss the following stadiums
Sooriyawewa International Cricket Stadium
Built in a rural village in Sooriyawewa, Hambantota this stadium is an architect’s delight. A dome shaped Grand Stand along with a luxurious press box this Stadium has to offer state of the art facilities able to host 35,000 people. It made debut in the 2011 WC in the match Sri Lanka vs. Canada where Sri Lanka amassed 330 runs and won the match very convincingly.It will be an ideal venue suitable for playing T20 matches as well, it will be a certain fixture in the 2012 T20 World Cup.
Dambulla International Cricket Stadium
Incepted in 2001,Dambulla since then have been an important ODI Stadium outside Colombo because it has the ability to host matches even in the rainy season saw it being built in a dry zone, nevertheless it was axed during the World Cup in SLCB quest in constructing new stadiums for the World Cup 2011.However it hosted the Asia Cup and also the Micromax Tri Series last year with greater success but now face extinction in the wake of new stadiums.Dambulla offers a great surrounding of nature and wildlife which brings tourists to the stadium which can improve the revenue. We hope that Dambulla get the opportunity to host a few T20s during the 2012 T20 World Cup.
Sinhala Sports Club Cricket Stadium
It is Sri Lanka Cricket’s owned stadium which their headquarters also is placed there, if an emergency situation arises when the other cricket stadiums are not ready this is the easiest make shift arrangement with mostly tests played at this venue but recently all 3 ODI games vs. West Indies early this year was played at this venue with R Premadasa Stadium was still in the renovation stage. The SLCB will keep this venue as a substitute which also is a batting paradise.
These 6 venues will be short listed soon as the possible host stadium options and probably 3 or 4 stadiums will get the opportunity to host the 2012 T20 World Cup next year, and we hope that Sri Lanka Cricket would be able to successfully host the T20 World Cup without any crimes,scandals or racketeering.Hope that SLC will be in a strong position to host the World Event and wish it may bring glory to our mother Lanka.