Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has allocated Rs. 200 million for the establishment of two new cricket grounds in the Northern and North Central Provinces and construction work is set to commence by the end of the year.
Secretary of SLC Mohan de Silva speaking to Nation said that the two grounds would be established in Jaffna and Polonnaruwa. “We hope to allocate Rs. 100 million for each ground,” he said.
Accordingly, both stadiums would be used to host first class cricket matches at the initial stages and then developed as international venues.
De Silva said that SLC had already identified a plot of land in Polonnaruwa while the search for a suitable location was still on in Jaffna.
“We will finalise on a location very soon. The initial work on the Polonnaruwa stadium is already underway. We hope to have work on both grounds in full flow before the end of the year,” de Silva added.
In addition, SLC has also been compelled to expand spectator participation at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium after many cricket fans who purchased tickets could not get to their respective seats due to overcrowding during the third One Day International match featuring Australia on August 28. It was reported that over 45,000 spectators had thronged the stadium in Dambulla that was built to accommodate only 18,000.“We are compelled to take action to expand the capacity of the stadium in order to get more fan interaction. We have already started to look into the matter and would work on it soon,” de Silva added.
In the aftermath of the crowd burst in Dambulla, stadium authorities had chopped down some trees that had served as viewing platforms for spectators within the premises of the venue.
(Published on September 3, 2016 in the Nation)