[stextbox id=”custom” caption=”Cricket Grounds in Sri Lanka > Galle International Stadium”]
- Location: Galle, Sri Lanka
- Established: 1876
- Stadium Capacity: 35,000
- Owner: Galle Cricket Club
- Name of the Ends: Fort End, City End
- First Test: Sri Lanka vs New Zealand, 3 – 7 June 1998
- First ODI: Sri Lanka vs India, 25 June 1998
- First T20I: yet to hold one
- Curator: Jayantha Warnaweera
A uniquely designed cricket ground, the Galle Stadium is without doubt one of the more picturesque settings in which international cricket has been played. Located next to the beautiful Dutch Fort and the Galle Light House, the ground has a very open design, unlike other cricket grounds which are almost completely closed from all sides.
The Indian Ocean is literally a six away from the wicket in the centre. Put Chris Gayle on steroids, and he should be able to thwack the ball into the water with some effort!
Brief History of the Ground:
The home ground of the Galle Cricket Club, it was known as the ‘Esplanade’ before being rechristened after it was renovated to hold international cricket contests.
You may find it difficult to believe know, but the ground was initially built in 1876 to hold horse racing. It was only in 1927 that the ground was declared as a venue for cricket.
In 1945, the ground got its first turf wicket but it was only much later in 1984 that the Galle stadium hosted its first First Class Cricket match.
In 2004, a devastating Tsunami struck Sri Lanka destroying the entire area including the stadium. However, with support coming in from many quarters including Ian Botham and Shane Warne, work began on the reconstruction of the stadium in right earnest, and it is back now as one of the most beautiful cricket venues of the world.
Notable Record & Events held at the Galle Stadium
- Shane Warne became the first bowler in history to claim 500 wickets when he dismissed Hasan Tilakrathne during a Test Match in Galle in March 2004.
- It was in Galle that Muttiah Muralitharan became the first bowler to reach the 800 wickets milestone. That was Murali’s last Test and he claimed wicket no.800 in the final ball of his last Test!