Galle International Stadium is a cricket stadium in Galle, Sri Lanka, bordered on two sides by the Indian Ocean and located close to Galle Fort. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful cricket fields in the entire globe. It was once referred to as “The Esplanade” and is the home field of the Galle Cricket Club before being upgraded to meet international cricket standards. The Sri Lankan national cricket team considers this stadium to be one of their luckiest grounds.
Galle International Stadium History
The stadium was constructed in 1876 as a racetrack. There was no permanent pavilion until 1892 when a “great stand” was erected on the advice of P. A. Templer, the Galle Municipal Council’s secretary at the time. After a while, cricket matches took precedence over racing at the track.
In May 1888, Richmond College, Galle, and All Saints’ College, Galle played their first intercollegiate cricket match at this location, which at the time was known as the “Galle Esplanade.” One of Sri Lanka’s longest cricket match series, the Richmond-Mahinda Annual Cricket Encounter has been played at this location annually since 1905.
The area was formally designated as a cricket stadium in 1927. On February 29, 1984, the venue played host to its inaugural match in the first class. In 1945, the stadium’s turf wicket was installed with the help of Dhanapala Lorensu Hewa, the Galle Cricket Ground’s Secretary at the time. For this, the Colombo Cricket Club’s support was also enlisted.
The field was eventually updated to meet international cricket standards and became Sri Lanka’s fifth Test-capable international cricket arena. On June 3, 1998, the first test match was held on the field. Sri Lanka defeated New Zealand by an innings and 16 runs in the match between the two countries.
Galle International Stadium Renovation
The opening ODI between India and Sri Lanka was supposed to take place on June 25, 1998, however, it was postponed because the ground was soggy after overnight rain and heavy morning rain. The wave caused by the Indian Ocean earthquake on December 26, 2004, left the terrain in ruins, with floodwaters reaching a depth of 30 meters.
The majority of the stadium’s structures were destroyed, while the ground sustained serious damage. The stadium served as a temporary home for hundreds of tsunami refugees in the weeks after the disaster. In order to help the survivors, a helipad and a temporary refugee camp were built there. The Galle International Stadium underwent renovations beginning on May 8, 2006.
A new pavilion and a media center were among the various new structures included in the expansive restoration. There was also more room for spectator seating. On December 17, 2007, President Mahinda Rajapakse inaugurated the renovated stadium. The inaugural Test match between England and Sri Lanka was played on the same day as the stadium’s reopening and ended in a tie.
Galle International Stadium Records and statistics
Galle International Stadium Teams result summary
ODI match teams summary
Test match teams summary
Content Credit:- Wikipedia