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War-ravaged Jaffna to be Sri Lanka's next international venue

 Agencies |  2017-01-22 18:16:56.0  |  Colombo, Sri Lanka

Once a battlefield, the northern capital of Jaffna could soon become Sri Lanka's next international cricket venue as per a national programme initiated by the country's cricket board.

Sri Lanka Cricket's latest project would see the completion of the stadium there by mid 2022, a SLC release said.

SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala and a team of state officials had inspected two potential sites in Jaffna last week. The project is to be initiated later this year.

"Jaffna has historically produced exceptionally talented cricketers," Sumathipala said.

Jaffna, the cultural capital of the Tamil minority was affected by over three decades of a separatist conflict.

Since the end to the war in 2009, enhancing cricket infrastructure has been given due consideration. Due to the conflict not many northern province Tamils have had the opportunity to make it big in the game let alone representing Sri Lanka.

Muttiah Muralitharan, one of the greatest cricketers the island has produced, was a central province Tamil and hailed from the central capital of Kandy.

Meanwhile, SLC sources said the Hambantota International Cricket Ground, named after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, would swing into action once again during the tour by Bangladesh in March.

Bangladesh is to play two Tests, three ODIs and two T20s during the tour and Hambantota's Suriyawewa Cricket Ground could host one of the matches. The ground has been unused since 2015.

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