Cricket marvel at Sooriyawewa
The Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket
Stadium at Sooriyawewa is situated in the remote area of Meegahajandura
off Sooriyawewa, approximately 8 kilometres from the emerging commercial
hub in Hambantota and now boasts a marvelous cricket ground set in a
natural rural setting
The sri lanka - canada match in progress at the imposing
mahinda rajapaksa international cricket stadium in
sooriyawewa. Picture by Saman Mendis
The World witnessed the inauguration of a brand new cricket stadium
in Sri Lanka on February 20, 2011, that hosted the second game of the
2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, which was aptly won by the host nation - Sri
The Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium at Sooriyawewa is
situated in the remote area of Meegahajandura off Sooriyawewa,
approximately 8 kilometres from the emerging commercial hub in
Hambantota and now boasts a marvelous cricket ground set in a natural
rural setting. It has been the brainchild of ‘Tharunayata Hetak’ youth
movement headed by its President Namal Rajapaksa, the Hambantota
The effort to bring this stadium live to host the 2011 World Cup game
has been none other than phenomenal. To build an international standard
cricket stadium in mere 9 months requires a lot of support and
The Support and guidance that was provided by President Mahinda
Rajapaksa throughout this project has been truly inspirational. In the
face of adverse media coverage led by certain newspapers in the country,
the key stakeholders of this vision still believed that it could be
delivered and today they have been fully vindicated in their decision to
stick by their judgement and persevere.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa
The comments received by the ICC, International Media and the players
alike on the facilities provided by Sooriyawewa has been extremely
encouraging. There is no doubt that Sooriyawewa Mahinda Rajapakse
Stadium will hold its place in world’s fantastic Cricket Stadiums for
many decades to come.
SLC led by the Chairman D S De Silva just as the visionary President
of Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and MP Namal Rajapaksa were
fully committed to the delivery of this magnificent architectural
masterpiece, to provide the citizens of outskirts of Sri Lanka an
opportunity to witness an international event in their ‘backyard’.
Of the approximate 30,000 odd spectators who witnessed this game,
over 70% had seen a floodlit or an international event for the first
time in their lives. What an amazing achievement to bring international
cricket to the outskirts of Sri Lanka.
When SLC Chairman was appointed to head the SLC Interim committee,
one of his many visions were to take cricket to all parts of Sri Lanka
and not to limit it to the privileged few in main towns.
He wanted to pave the way to find the next ‘Jayasuria of Sri Lanka
Cricket’ or the next ‘Muralitharan of Sri Lanka Cricket’ from anywhere
in our small country of 20 million people.
By creating Cricket stadiums in these towns and providing cricketing
infrastructure in the schools in these towns & villages he is starting
to set the ‘Groundwork’ to realise that dream some day.
Similar to the country, Sri Lanka Cricket today is in capable hands
of a custodian who has a passion and the vision to take Cricket in this
country to the next level. For too many years and eras we have been a
cricketing nation that shows brilliance on occasions and mediocrity the
MP Namal Rajapaksa
To make a lasting difference in our Cricketing prowess, and build the
next generation of our cricketing heroes that will make Sri Lanka proud
fundamental, infrastructural changes need to take place that opens
Cricket to all cities and villages of Sri Lanka.
With the current SLC administration, this is already on the move.
D S De Silva
In addition to Sooriyawewa, Pallekalle International Stadium will be
showcased to the world in a few weeks. The proposed developments are
already taking place with the development of Walasmulla district school
cricket ground, development of St Johns school cricket ground in
Panadura and the completion of Indoor cricket nets at Badulla.
Future locations have already been identified with plans currently in
motion of a proposed development of turf wicket ground at St Patrick’s
College Jaffna & a development ground at Ambalangoda where Sri Lanka
historically have produced many international cricketers in the past.
Sri Lanka Cricket in the past has had many leaders of great
But the effort led by our current Chairman has undoubtedly surpassed
them all not just in terms of the effort that he has invested to take
our cricket forward to the next level but in terms of his sheer passion
for the game too.
There is no doubt that the right man has been chosen for the job and
Sri Lanka Cricket just like our Country is in great hands at present.