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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 17:33 GMT
Galle 'out of action for a year'
Galle curator Jayananda Warnaweera
We should all forget about cricket for a few months and look at the humanitarian side first
Jayananda Warnaweera
More than two weeks after the tsunami disaster, Sri Lanka's Galle cricket stadium continues to lie in ruins.

"It will take another year before the ground will be ready to host international matches," said stadium curator Jayananda Warnaweera.

It will also cost 2.3 million for a total renovation, including relaying the pitches establishing a drainage system and building modern stadiums.

Debris from the 26 December catastrophe is still strewn across the ground.

The Galle International Stadium, to give it its full title, is a much-admired seaside venue.

With a historic Dutch-built fort as its backdrop and views of the ocean it is frequently described as one of the most beautiful grounds in the world.

It is the only modern ground for southern Sri Lanka and was used by all three clubs and six schools in the area and has played host to 11 Test matches.

Local schools are already planning to play cricket soon, though they obviously cannot play at Galle.

One coach, Harsha Munasinghe, said he hoped cricket would help his team take its mind off the horror ofthe tsunami.

He said: "The boys are scared, they have only spoken of thetsunami for the past two weeks."

But Warnaweera, who played 10 Tests for Sri Lanka as an off-spinner, said: "Personally I am not in a mood for cricket. This is not a time to enjoy.

"We should all forget about cricket for a few months and look at the humanitarian side first. We should not forget the supporters of the game."


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