ICC says Sri Lanka World Cup venues on track

Chandi Dharmaratne

June 7, 2010 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s new venues for next year’s World Cup are on track but the refurbishment of an existing stadium is behind schedule, the International Cricket Council said on Monday. Sri Lanka, which is co-hosting the tournament with India and Bangladesh, is set to stage 12 matches at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo and at the newly built grounds in Pallekele and Hambantota, outside the capital.

“With the exception of the Premadasa stadium, others are on track to play a few first-class and international matches before the tournament starts next February,” ICC’s structural engineer, Eugene van Vuuren, said.

Sri Lanka Cricket is spending around eight million dollars to renovate and re-lay the pitch at the Premadasa stadium, an existing international venue.

“Premadasa is a worry for me,” added ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson at the end of a three-day inspection trip.

“I would like to get some games in to try out the pitch conditions before the big show next year.”

Of the two new stadiums, the 10-million dollar Pallekele stadium in the central district of Kandy has hosted an under-19 match.

The Suriyawewa Stadium in Hambantota, in the deep south, is due