Galle International Stadium
Galle International Stadiumindia Updated: Dec 02, 2003 21:51 IST
Name: Galle International Stadium
Also or formerly known as: The Esplanade
End names: City End, Fort End
The Galle International Cricket Stadium is one of only two grounds in the world that is sited below sea level (the other being the Bourda Ground in Guyana).
The town itself is steeped in history and it's believed King Solomon came here for elephants, gems, spices and peacocks. Later it became a centre of European expansion in the East with first the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the British taking over the town.
The Galle fort overlooks the cricket ground and provides one of the most picturesque backdrops in world cricket. The Indian Ocean fringes two sides of the ground which was extensively rebuilt by the Sri Lankan cricket board in 1996.
The first Test match at the stadium took place in 1998 when Sri Lanka beat New Zealand and it has traditionally been a ground that favours the spinners.
With that in mind Sri Lanka, who have a formidable record there, like to schedule it as the opening Test of a series.