Asgiriya Stadium

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Asgiriya Stadium
Dharmaraja-Kingswood.JPG
Dharmaraja-Kingswood 104th encounter
Ground information
Location Asgiriya, Kandy
Coordinates 7°17′59″N 80°38′02″E / 7.29972°N 80.63389°E / 7.29972; 80.63389Coordinates: 7°17′59″N 80°38′02″E / 7.29972°N 80.63389°E / 7.29972; 80.63389
Establishment 15 January 1915 (Broke ground 1909)
Capacity 10,300
Owner Trinity College
Operator Trinity College
Tenants Sri Lanka Cricket
Kandy Cricket Club
End names
Hunnasgiriya End
Hanthana End
International information
First Test 22 April 1983: Sri Lanka v Australia
Last Test 1 December 2007: Sri Lanka v England
First ODI 2 March 1986: Sri Lanka v Pakistan
Last ODI 16 December 2001: West Indies v Zimbabwe
Domestic team information
Kandy Cricket Club (? – present)

Asgiriya International Stadium, (Sinhala: අස්ගිරිය ක්‍රීඩාංගනය) is a cricket stadium situated in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Asgiriya Stadium is the private property of Trinity College, Kandy. It is around a 10-minute walk from the centre of the city. The venue would usually be used when an international team toured Sri Lanka for a Test Match.[1] Asgiriya became Sri Lanka's the second Test venue, after the Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Stadium, when it hosted Greg Chappell’s Australian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 1982–83.

History[edit]

Prior to Asgiriya being built, Trinity College played their cricket at the Bogambara Grounds. In 1904 Rev. Alec Garden Fraser assumed office as Principal, he was conscious about the lack of a suitable playing space for the school and the lack of a cricket pitch. Fraser acquired an abandoned wasteland owned by the War Department, the site being at Asgiriya, 270 meters away from the school. The annual lease rental of the land at the time was Rs. 30 per year. In 1910 Trinity was given permission to build their own ground. The stadium broke ground in 1909 and was built until 1915.

The ground was opened ceremonially in 1915 by the Governor Sir Robert Chalmers on 15 January 1915. The first inter-school match was between Trinity and S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia on 24 and 25 February 1915.[2]

With the ambition of gaining Test status one of the ICC requirements for Sri Lanka was to improve the infrastructure of its international venues. In 1981 former Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket Gamini Dissanayake, an old Trinitian, took charge of upgrading Asgiriya into an International Cricket Stadium, which he did within a period of 150 days. On 5 January 1982 President J. R. Jayewardene ceremonially opened the stadium. Jayewardene also opened the pavilion in 1982.

The first cricket match at Asgiriya was against the Australian cricket team in Sri Lanka in 1982–83, becoming Sri Lanka's the second Test venue, after the Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Stadium. Test Matches were played regularly until the last Match, which was three years ago with the English cricket team in Sri Lanka in 2007–08. Sri Lanka won that Test, with Muttiah Muralitharan claiming his 709th Test wicket to go past Shane Warne as the highest wicket taker in Test cricket.

Asgiriya Stadium Score Board

Sri Lanka’s first Test win at Asgiriya came in 1998 against Zimbabwe, 15 years after the ground hosted its first Test. More success soon followed in the coming years as Sri Lanka won their first Test against Australia in 1999, which still remains the Sri Lanka's only Test win against Australia; a game remembered for the dreadful collision between Steve Waugh and Jason Gillespie. Both players had to be airlifted to Colombo for medical treatment after being seriously injured. Waugh broke his nose while Gillespie had a broken bone in his shin.

Asgiriya has also hosted a 1996 Cricket World Cup fixture between Sri Lanka national cricket team and Kenya national cricket team with Sri Lanka making a record 398, the highest score at the time.

Asgiriya Stadium has hosted a total of 22 Test Matches and seven of them won by Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Cricket decided to shift all international cricket to Pallekele, about 15 kilometers from the city, but it is possible that Asgiriya will get an occasional international match.[1]

Distinction of the stadium[edit]

Surrounded by mountains in the ancient Sri Lankan hill capital of Kandy, Asgiriya is considered by ESPNcricinfo to be one of the most beautiful venues on earth.[3]

The stadium has the unique distinction of being the only Test class cricket stadium in the world to be owned and maintained by a secondary school, Trinity College, Kandy an elite private boys school in Sri Lanka. Ranjan Madugalle, Ravi Ratnayeke, Nilantha Ratnayake, Kumar Sangakkara, and Kaushalya Weeraratne, all of whom represented Sri Lanka at the highest level at cricket, are but a few who honed their budding cricketing talents at Asgiriya whilst schoolboys at Trinity.

Key milestones[edit]

The Hunnasgiriya-end of Asgiriya Stadium

World Cup Cricket[edit]

1996 Cricket World Cup[edit]

6 March 1996
Scorecard
Sri Lanka 
398/5 (50 overs)
v
Kenya 
254/7 (50 overs)
Aravinda de Silva 145 (115)
Tito Odumbe 2/34 (5 overs)
Steve Tikolo 96 (95)
M Muralitharan 2/40 (10 overs)
 Sri Lanka won by 144 runs
Asgiriya Stadium, Asgiriya, Kandy, Sri Lanka
Umpires: Steve Dunne and V. K. Ramaswamy
Player of the match: Aravinda de Silva (Sri)
  • Kenya won the toss and elected to ball first.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Clementine, Rex. "Sangakkara regrets Asgiriya losing Test status". Islandcricket.lk. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Marikar, Hafiz. "Great cricketers have played on Trinity College grounds". Sundayobserver.lk. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  3. ^ url=http://www.espncricinfo.com/usa/content/ground/59329.html#Profile

External links[edit]