Cricket Grounds in Sri Lanka > Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota
Basic Facts about the Ground:
- Location: Sooriyawewa, Hambantota , Southern Province, Sri Lanka
- Established: 2009
- Stadium Capacity: 34,000
- Owner: Sri Lanka Cricket
- Name of the Ends: Sooriyawewa End, Thanamalwila End
- First Test: yet to host a Test match
- First ODI: Sri Lanka vs Canada – 20 February 2011
- First T20I: Sri Lanka vs Pakistan – 1 June 2012
- Curator: Ravi Dissanayake
Brief History of the Ground:
Expressly built for the ICC World Cup 2011 which was co-hosted by Sri Lanka, this new stadium in Sri Lanka was named after the current President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa. The ground hosted two matches during the World Cup 2011. (The Hambantota district is the parliamentary constituency of Namal Rajapaksa, the son of the President.)
The ground is an engineering marvel, and was an important part of Sri Lanka’s plan as they were bidding for Hambantota to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which though they failed to achieve.
As the ground was hastily build, there is a lack of supporting infrastructure around the ground. This has made it difficult for fans in Colombo and other major places in Sri Lanka to reach the ground. However, a new airport is coming up in nearby Matala, and a monorail is being built. Already, the new Southern Expressway allows fans from Colombo to reach Hambantota in less than 6 hours by road.Proper connectivity should allow many more cricket fans to enjoy a game in what is definitely one of the most scenic and beautiful cricket grounds in the world.