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R Premadasa Stadium

india Updated: Aug 04, 2006 22:42 IST

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The R Premadasa International Stadium (known prior to June 1994 as the Khetterama Cricket Stadium, after the area of Colombo it stands in) was the brainchild of the late Sri Lanka President Ranasinghe Premadasa, who championed the development of this colossal 35,000-seater concrete bowl, the biggest stadium in the country.

Opened on February 2, 1986 with a limited-overs match between a Sri Lanka 'B' side and an England 'B' team, the stadium was built on swampland previously used by monks ferrying across to the Khettarama temple adjacent to the stadium. The inaugural one-day international was played on April 5, 1986 between Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

On August 28, 1992 it hosted its first Test between Sri Lanka and Australia. The venue is best remembered for holding the world record for the highest Test total - 952 for 6 declared by Sri Lanka against India in 1997-98, in which the former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya scored 340 and Roshan Mahanama 225, the pair sharing the highest partnership in Test cricket with 576 for the second wicket. A new training centre was developed behind the stadium with 16 practice pitches and dormitories for the Academy which started in 2003.

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