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Colombo & Cultural Triangle
Snapshot
Sri Lanka's capital has a dense concentration of cricketing arenas, whether test match venues or school grounds. Most of the pitches are in the Cinnamon Garden suburb. Some are in Moratuwa (to the south) and Negombo (to the north near the airport). The city offers the best practice facilities as well as good hotels and night spots.

Negombo, a fishing town and beach resort close to the international airport about 40km north of Colombo, has a small selection of attractive venues with excellent pitches. The prices of the venues are also very reasonable compared to Colombo’s grounds. The journey from Colombo can take quite a long time, around one hour in the morning, so the venues are best utilised by teams who prefer to stay outside of Colombo on the north coast’s tropical beaches. Negombo makes for a perfect start or finish to the tour. There are three main grounds: the Air Force ground in Katunayaka, the BOI Free Trade Zone venue, also in Katunayake, and Kandana ground a short drive from Negombo itself. All three have turf pitches in good repair and are regularly used for first-class or good club-level cricket. The outfields can be bumpy.

Besides the outstanding cricket the venues of Kurunegala and Dambulla, the cultural triangle has a great deal to offer as a fantastic place to explore some of Sri Lanka’s ancient sites and discover some of the island’s rich heritage.
Sri Lanka Location Map

Colombo
Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club
This charming first class ground is in the heart of Colombo’s most opulent neighbourhood, Cinnamon Gardens. With its fast outfield and flat track, runs come quickly on this pitch. England U19s defeated India here in 2006 and a host of other closely fought contests have been staged here in Sri Lanka’s domestic competitions. The venue is convenient for teams staying in Colombo and close to some of the city’s best shops, cafes and bars.

Burgher Recreation Club Ground

Sri Lanka has a thriving Burgher community that have descended from the island’s Portuguese and Dutch invaders and this ground is home to their leading cricket club. Although the outfield can be ragged, the quality of the wicket and pavilion compensate this. The ground is found in the leafy suburb of Havelock Town and is close to Galle Road and the centre of Colombo.

Colombo Cricket Club
Although no longer used for test matches, this is a stunning ground in Cinnamon Gardens next door to Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) and Nondescripts Cricket Club (NCC). Cinnamon Gardens has plenty of distractions for the non-cricketing tourists and the ground has a popular bar and restaurant overlooking it. The last test played here ended in a high-scoring draw with New Zealand, in which Sir Richard Hadlee had a remarkable all-round performance of 151* and a 4 wicket haul. So plenty of runs on offer and a great opportunity to start or end your tour with a fifty, or more...

Moors Sports Club Ground
Moors is a quaint ground, a haven of peace amongst some of Sri Lanka's tallest buildings with is pristine white wall that rings the outfield. Perfect for club and school tours and close to the central Colombo hotels. The changing rooms and pavilion are a little rustic, but this is a feature you will get used to while touring in Asia.

Nondescripts Cricket Club Ground (NCC)
Right next door to the SSC and CCC grounds, this is where Sri Lankan legends, Aravinda De Silva and Kumar Sangakkara learnt the game. NCC has a distinctly colonial ambience with its wooden-floored pavilion, circular ceiling fans and comfortable planter's chairs. It is a picturesque venue, full of large tropical trees and ringed by white walls rather than empty terraces. We believe they are particularly well-suited to amateur tours. NCC also boasts an excellent flat pitch that offers the batsmen plenty of runs as well as pace in the first session. This is also a good venue for a training session, with good outdoor and indoor nets.

P. Saravanamuttu Stadium
Otherwise known as the Sara Oval, this became Sri Lanka's first Test venue in 1982, when they played England in a match in which John Emburey took 6 wickets. The ivy clad scoreboard is just one feature that makes this such a beautiful old stadium. The ground is full of cricketing heritage, not only is it the home ground of the Tamil Union, Muttiah Muralitharan’s home club, but it is also where Don Bradman’s Australia played a warm up match mid-voyage to England in 1948! The stadium is currently in a state of renewal with a pool and sports centre having been built.

R. Premadasa Stadium
Adjacent to the Kettarama Temple, Premadasa is Sri Lanka's largest cricket stadium; a vast concrete bowl with a capacity of 35,000. It's also the home of the national academy. Sri Lanka posted record total 952 for 6 against India here in 1997, and the venue has seen some hard fought encounters between the host nation and touring nations. The venue presents a good opportunity for a touring team to play in a world-class stadium, and even experience playing in a day-night match.

Sinhalese Sports Club
The Lords of Colombo, even boasting its own Long Room. The SSC is fantastic venue, combining Sri Lankan character and style with world-class facilities. The outfield and square are kept in fantastic condition and the ground also benefits from good nets, an atmospheric bar and refreshing swimming pool. This ground has seen plenty of runs in the past, it was here that Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara recently posted a record partnership of 624. The ground is in the fashionable Cinnamon Gardens area, next door to NCC and CCC, and close to the centre of Colombo and a number of shops and cafes.

Air Force Ground
In front of the Trans Asia Hotel, this is a very pleasant cricket venue in the very heart of Colombo. The ground is well maintained and there is a monstrous, modern pavilion. The venue offers a very Sri Lankan cricket experience; the whitewashed walls separate the ground from the Colombo shanty communities. The railway runs along one boundary and train passengers hanging from the carriages are always quick to provide encouragement. Occasionally games are interrupted to allow helicopters carrying high powered Sri Lankan politicians and generals to land!

Tyronne Fernando Stadium
The Tyronne Fernando Stadium is a short drive south of central Colombo and is convenient for those staying in the city or Moratuwa (Katubedda). There is an impressive 10,000 capacity stadium, and crowds here have been treated to some exciting cricket over the years. The venue is home to Sebastianites CC and often hosts international touring teams. Test matches were last played here in 1993 but the ground remains in good condition. The West Indies were the first international side to play at the ground in 1979 and their formidable pace attack must have taken most of the bounce out of the wicket. The square is good, but has a tendency to keep low and favour the batsman.

Panadura Esplanade, Panadura
Panadura is 25km south of Colombo. It is one of Red Dot’s favourite venues, and a match here fits well into an itinerary if a club is heading to the Galle coast. This slightly scruffy venue is full of character and it is a delight to play cricket here. The square is good and although the changing rooms are basic, there is a well stocked bar. The ground is in the middle of this busy town so your visit will undoubtedly attract a great deal of attention from the local community and in the past, the Mayor of Panadura has personally welcomed touring teams with the usual fuss and photo shoots.


Cultural Triangle
Rangiri Dambulla International Ground, Dambulla
Without a doubt this is one of the most beautiful cricketing venues in Asia. Looking over the Dambulla Lake, this impressive 30,000 seater stadium was built to provide Sri Lanka with a venue that was dry year round. The wicket has been known to favour those that bat first; having said that, England were skittled on this ground for 88 by Sri Lanka in 2003. The venue has superb facilities with world class dressing rooms, and a monstrous scoreboard, where you may have your names painted up for the match. From the moment your team coach arrives at the VIP entrance, through the turnstiles and along the stadium approach, you will be inspired by this world class cricketing arena.

Welagedara Stadium, Kurunegala
En route to Dambulla from Colombo, this pretty ground is situated at the foot of the huge granite Elephant Rock and overlooked by a large Buddha. The venue regularly hosts international teams for practice matches and although the dressing rooms are a little rustic the square is excellent. Expect it to be hot though - the huge rock acts like an oven. Kurunegala is a very friendly club and they always enjoy hosting teams from UK. With a spin attack lead by one of the all time leading wicket takers in Sri Lankan first-class domestic cricket, the Kurunegala club side can pose stiff opposition. Kurunegala is 2 hours drive from Colombo and on the road to Dambulla. It is not worth staying the night in the area – Red Dot suggests moving on to Kandy or Dambulla after the game.
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