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Hambantota Stadium will be one, if not the best in Asia - De Silva

 


A view of the proposed stadium

To make the Hambantota Cricket Stadium one, if not the best in Asia,is the ambition of Interim Committee Chairman D. Somachandra de Silva.

De Silva is determined to see that one of the World Cup 50-over games in the 2011 tournament is played at the Hambantota Stadium.And with this in mind,he has set the necessary men and material in motion and when World Cup time comes around,the Stadium will be all dressed up for the occasion.

De Silva is aware of his critics and pessimists.But to hell with them he says and promises to have the Hambantota Stadium ready to host one of the World Cup 2011 matches at the Stadium.

Not only the Hambantota Stadium,but he is also concentrating on Stadiums in Pallekelle, Dambulla and the R. Premadasa Stadium, where also World Cup matches will be played.


The entrance to the stadium

Officials visiting the stadium

Officials and work going on apace.

Officials giving instructions


The cynosure of all eyes and the man entrusted with gigantic undertaking, Interim Committee Chairman - D. S. de Silva.

The irrepressible De Silva is a very busy man these days. He shuttles to Hambantota,Pallekelle,Dambulla and Premadasa Stadium to personally see and encourage the men at work,so that when members of the Organising Committee of the ICC world Cup visit here,they will go back convinced that Sri Lanka are spot on with the work and that matches could be played without any hassle or hindrance.

Incidentally De Silva is the man suited for the job considering his terrific experience in the game having played Test cricket and also captaining the national team.During his playing days he was one of the finest allrounders produced by the country.He was a free scoring stylish right hand batsman, one of the best leg spin/googly bowlers in world cricket and a "Jonty Rhodes" in the covers.

The infrastructure for the Stadium in Hambantota will be in the safe and reliable hands of the Ports Authority. They will build the Pavilion, the dressing rooms, the media boxes, the draining system and the sprinklers.

De Silva is confident that he will have the wickets at the stadium ready for play by early January next year."Once the wickets are ready, I intend playing school,club and District matches on it,so that when World Cup match playing time comes around,the wickets would have settled down,and what will remain will be for the umpires to call "play",said De Silva exuding confidence.

In his endeavours he has the blessings of sport loving President Mahinda Rajapaksa,who is on the ball and inquires as to how the work is going in the stadium. A vision of the President is that the wonderful game of cricket is spread to the entire coiuntry, especially to the North and East. This is also the vision ofthe Interim Committee Chairman who is working hard on these project too. In years gone by several outstanding cricketers emerged from the North.

Now that the Sri Lanka Cricket team is second in the ICC Test rankings,it is the wish of the President that the Lankans become the best in the world in all forms of the game.

In this aspect too,De Silva has set in motion many projects and strategies and he says and promises that if the cricketers continue to play as they are doing now, cricket's eldorado will be reached.In this aspect Sri Lanka is lucky to have a sports loving President.

A requirement by the International Cricket Council,is that each stadium has a crowd capacity of 25 to 30 thousand. All that will be attended to and the ICC would have no qualms', said De Silva, who in his every endeavour has his Interim Committee members joining him in the scrum and pushing for nothing but success.

The Interim Committee is: D.Somachandra de Silva, (Chairman), Ranil Abeynaike, Pramodaya Wickremasinghe, Nishantha Ranatunga (Secretary), Sujeewa Rajapaksa, Lalith Weerasinghe and Lalith Wickremasinghe. They are all like beavers working and giving De Silva all the support and encouragement to see that every thing will be tickety boo when World Cup time comes around.

The picturesque Dambulla Stadium has also been allowed to go into rack and ruin and it is De Silva's ambition to refurbish,not only this stadium but also the R.Premadasa Stadium and bring them to international standard.

The Pallekelle Stadium too will be a cricket conmnossieurs delight.

What makes De Silva's job all the more easy is that he knows how to have a good rapport,not only with his fellow interim committee members,but with the players and with everyone else connected to the game and the projects to be completed before World Cup 2011 comes around.

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