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Last Updated: Friday, 22 April, 2005, 07:02 GMT 08:02 UK
Galle stadium to be reconstructed
Galle Stadium
Galle Stadium - as it was before the tsunami and as it is now
Officials have confirmed that Galle Stadium in Sri Lanka will be rebuilt after last December's tsunami disaster.

Ground manager Jayanatha Warnaweera said basic renovation work would cost about 260,000, although total costs have been estimated at over 1m.

"If the stadium is not restored the entire Galle public will turn against us," Warnaweera commented.

"There have been accusing fingers pointed at us for not starting work already," he added.

"There are still a lot of homeless people living here in tents and schools and it's not fair to start reconstruction now.

"Hopefully, we will start in about six month's time."

The stadium, which has staged 11 Test matches since 1998, felt the full impact of the tsunami when it hit the southern coast of Sri Lanka, one of a dozen countries to be affected.

Debris was left strewn across the outfield where a local side had been about to start a game against the team from English public school Harrow.

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

But despite the renovation plans, its future as an international cricket venue remains in doubt.

The Sri Lanka Cricket board, currently suspended following allegations of mismanagement, has identified a site at Habaraduwaa with a view to building a new Test ground for the south of the island.

It would be owned by the board, not leased like Galle, and subject to fewere planning restrictions.

"We will definitely play first-class and provincial cricket in Galle.

"But no final decision has been made with regard to the [proposed] international ground at Habaraduwaa," SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala told the Reuters news agency.




SEE ALSO
Botham boosts Galle cricket kids
20 Apr 05 |  Sri Lanka
Galle 'out of action for a year'
12 Jan 05 |  Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan cricket counts the cost
05 Jan 05 |  Sri Lanka
Murali helping Sri Lanka victims
03 Jan 05 |  Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka squad sets off for home
31 Dec 04 |  Sri Lanka


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