Sri Lanka planning to name stadium after Murali

Dec 12, 2007 (AFP) – The Sri Lankan venue where Muttiah Muralitharan shattered the world bowling record could be re-named after the prolific off-spinner, the country’s sports minister said on Wednesday. Gamini Lokuge said he will ask the authorities that control Kandy’s Asgiriya stadium to re-name the ground after Sri Lanka’s most famous cricketer.

“Asgiriya belongs to the Trinity College of Kandy and we have made a request to them,” Lokuge told AFP.

It was at that ground in the first Test against England last week that Muralitharan surpassed retired Australian Shane Warne’s world record tally of 708 wickets to become the leading Test bowler.

Muralitharan, who hails from the hill town of Kandy, also claimed his 700th wicket at the same venue against Bangladesh in July.

Trinity College vice-principal Gladwyn Kanagasabai, however, said no official request had been received from the government.

“We have no plans so far to change the name of the venue,” a bemused Kanagasabai told AFP by phone from Kandy.

Asgiriya, a regular Test venue since 1983, is widely acclaimed as one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world, having been carved out from the hillside.