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UNDER 19 CRICKET WORLD CUP - THE VENUES

 


R.Premadasa Stadium

The venue for the final of the 2006 ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup, the stadium was originally known as the Khettarama Stadium after the area of Colombo in which it was built.

Its name was changed in 1994 in honour of the man whose brainchild the stadium was, the late former President of Sri Lanka Ranasinghe Premadasa.

The first match played at the venue was a one-day game between Sri Lanka B and England B in February 1986 with the hosts captained by Arjuna Ranatunga and also including Roshan Mahanama, now an ICC Match Referee.

The stadium has the distinction of being the venue where the highest ever Test total was compiled – 952-6 declared by Sri Lanka against India in 1997. That total included Sri Lanka’s highest-ever individual score – 340 by Sanath Jayasuriya – and the highest partnership in Test history – 576 for the second wicket added by Jayasuriya and Mahanama, the latter scoring 225.

It has staged six Test matches, the most recent in 2005 between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, but is more renowned as an ODI venue and has staged more of that type of match that any other ground in Sri Lanka – 75 to the start of December 2005.

The 35,000 capacity arena staged the two aborted finals of the ICC Champions Trophy between Sri Lanka and India, two of the 10 matches it staged during the tournament.

During the 2006 ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup it will stage five group matches (including all of Sri Lanka and India’s matches), plus five other matches including both Super League semi-finals and the final.

Sinhalese Sports Club

The home of Sri Lanka Cricket, the SSC as it is commonly known, was the venue for the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup final in 2000, when India, including Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh, beat the hosts to claim the trophy for the first and so far only time.

The venue, which was reportedly used as an aerodrome during the Second World War, staged its maiden first-class match in March 1972 when a Ceylon Board President’s XI played Tamil Nadu. Ranjit Fernando, now a well-known broadcaster on the game throughout the world, faced the first ball of the match and the side from India was captained by Srinivas Venkataraghavan, who went on to captain India before becoming a respected international umpire.

It has staged 26 Tests – no venue in Sri Lanka has staged more – and 54 ODIs, a figure beaten only by the R.Premadasa Stadium.

Renowned as the venue in Sri Lanka that is more favoured by fast bowlers, it was the scene of a remarkable feat by left-arm seam and swing bowler Chaminda Vaas, in December 2001. Vaas took 8-19, still the best-ever bowling figures in ODIs, as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 38.

The venue staged six matches during the ICC Champions Trophy in 2002 and during the 2006 ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup it will stage five group matches plus five other matches.

Nondescripts Cricket Club

The only one of the five venues not to have staged Test or ODI cricket, the NCC nevertheless has a long and impressive history.

The first match at the venue was reportedly staged in February 1926 where a side from Ceylon under the patronage of Dr J Rockwood played against a side under Walter Lucas. The match is now regarded by at least two sources as the first first-class match to be played in Sri Lanka.

NCC staged three matches in the 2000 ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup – Zimbabwe versus the West Indies, the West Indies versus New Zealand and Zimbabwe versus Bangladesh. Among the players taking part in those matches that have gone on to play international cricket are Marlon Samuels, Ryan Hinds and Jermaine Lawson (the West Indies), James Franklin and Brendon McCullum (New Zealand), Tatenda Taibu, Mleke Nkala and Sean Ervine (Zimbabwe) and Hannan Sarkar and Anwar Hossain (Bangladesh).

Several of Sri Lanka’s very best players have played for Nondescripts, including Aravinda de Silva, Hashan Tillakaratne, Ranjan Madugalle, Ravi Ratnayeke and Rumesh Ratnayake.

During the 2006 ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup it will stage five group matches, including the USA’s first-ever match in the event (against the West Indies) plus five other matches.

P.Saravanamuttu Stadium

Formerly known as the Colombo Oval the P Sara Stadium, as it is now most commonly known, staged Sri Lanka’s first-ever Test match, against England in February 1982 (England won by seven wickets).

It has recently started hosting international matches again after a fallow period and up to the start of December 2005 had staged 10 Test matches and 11 ODIs. That list of Tests includes one between Australia and Pakistan in 2002 after Australia refused to tour Pakistan because of safety concerns.

The venue is renowned the world over for its distinctive Ivy-covered scoreboard and it has also witnessed the highest Test score by a visiting batsman in Sri Lanka, the unbeaten 274 made by New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming in 2003.

Donald Bradman played there in 1948 when his famous Australian side stopped in what was then Ceylon en route to the UK. Bradman made 20 and the match is remembered for the length of the pitch which was mistaken marked out as 20 yards rather than 22 yards.

During the 2006 ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup it will stage five group matches, including Uganda’s first match of the tournament (against Pakistan) plus five other matches.

Colombo Cricket Club

CCC staged its maiden first-class match as far back as January 1927 when a team of Europeans played the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). The MCC side was captained by Arthur Gilligan and included Andy Sandham, Bob Wyatt and Maurice Tate, all of them legends of the game.

Seven years later the MCC played a match under the captaincy of Douglas Jardine, the man behind the infamous Bodyline tactic in the 1932/33 Ashes series, and the following year the MCC returned to play an India & Ceylon XI.

However, after that match there were no first-class games at the venue until November 1973 when a Sri Lanka Board President’s XI played a Pakistan U/25 side.

After that point first-class matches have once again been played at CCC on a regular basis and the ground staged three Test matches in the mid-1980s, two against New Zealand and one against Pakistan.

In the past three years touring teams from England (senior and A sides) and Australia have played representative matches there.

During the 2006 ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup it will stage four group matches.

 


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