Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium

Anam Khalid

Updated on:

Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium

Rangiri Dambulla is an international cricket stadium in Sri Lanka with a seating capacity of 16800. If we consider the area of cricket stadiums, it is one of the biggest stadiums in the world with 60 acres of land. Moreover, it was built primarily to host limited-over matches as there are relatively fewer rain interruptions in this region of Sri Lanka. Its construction started in 2000 and hosted its first match between Sri Lanka and England in March 2001. It is located near Dambulla in the central province. The land has been leased from Dambulla temple.

Basic Details

ConstructedSeptember 2000
InaugurationMarch 2001
Home CountrySri Lanka
Capacity16800
Area of the Stadium60-acres
Time ZoneUTC+05:30
Stadium coordinates7.8587˚N, 80.6336˚E
Names of EndsScoreboard End, Press Box End
Availability of FloodlightsYes
First Ever Match23rd March, 2001
Last International Match27th June, 2022
Pitch TypeGrassy
Estimated Cost40 Million Rupees

History

Sri Lanka has many renowned grounds and one of them is Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium. It is located in the suburbs of Dambulla town, north-central province. Accordingly, the construction money was spent by the Sri Lankan Cricket Board. Certainly, the main reason to go ahead with the idea of building a new cricket ground was fewer chances of rain throughout the year in this particular region of Sri Lanka.

Construction

Additionally, it is fascinating to know that this cricket stadium was constructed in a mere 167 days. It was completed in the year 2000. The stadium is built on 60 acres of land that was leased from the Temple of Rangiri Dambula. Eventually, the urgency to have a venue for cricket without any weather interruption is evident from the speed at which the construction was expedited.

Architecture

The grandstand of this ground faces the East. Also, the cricket ground is adjacent to the Ibbankatuwa Lake on the North side. Above all, stands, scoreboards and sight screens were modified at this stadium to comply with international standards. In addition, the stadium also has practice pitches, a 4-star hotel, and a media enclosure to hold press conferences before and after matches.

First Match

The stadium was inaugurated on 23rd March 2001 by an ODI match. The match was played between Sri Lanka and England cricket teams. Consequently, the Sri Lankan team won this match quite comfortably by five wickets in 40.5 overs. Resultantly, Muttiah Muralidharan won the Man of the Match award for his match-turning haul of 4/29 in 9.5 overs.

First Match at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium

Dimensions

Straight Boundary Distance80 meters
Side Boundary Distance75 meters
Pitch Length20.12 meters (22 yards)

Eventually, these big boundaries make this ground the one where the batters usually get true value for their shots. If the batters want to clear the fence, they need to nail their shots. Being that, poorly executed shots usually find the fielders here. Besides, big boundaries also mean that running between the wickets is very important in this stadium specifically.

Match Record

In the first place, Rangiri Dambulla Stadium has never been used to host a test match. This ground has primarily hosted ODIs except only three WT20Is played on this ground in 2022. Further, the summary of statistics encompassing all the international matches played on this ground is given in the table below.

Summary of ODIs

Total matches played69
Batting first team won32 (46.37%)
Chasing team won34 (49.27%)
No results03 (4.34%)

Summary of T20Is

Total matches played03
Batting first team won01 (33.34%)
Chasing team won02 (66.67%)
No result0 (0.0%)

Unfortunately, Sri Lanka has seemingly ignored this ground for their home series. The last one-day international match played here was between Sri Lanka and England back in Oct 2018. As far as T20I is concerned, it has hosted only three matches between Indian women and Sri Lankan women in June 2022. After that, there has been no international cricket on this ground. All three T20Is played at this ground have been between women’s teams. In contrast, Men’s teams have never played a T20I match here to date.

Pitch Report

The pitches offered on this ground have generally shown the tendency to favor the bowling sides. Even more, this bowler-friendly behavior of pitches has been attributed to the fact that this piece of land has a high water table so the moisture is usually induced in the pitch. Skillful and experienced fast bowlers exploit this moisture to generate swing and seam movement of the ball and trouble the batters. Furthermore, spinners can come in and showcase their skills and talent when the early morning moisture vanishes in the later half of the day. Yes, the pitch favors bowlers but it still values the batters who show patience and temperament to see off good spells and have the skills to put away the bad balls.

Pitch Report of Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium

Analysis Of runs scored in ODI matches

Average total playing first212
Average total playing second175
Highest total achieved385/7 in 50 overs by Pakistan against Bangladesh
Highest chase289/4 in 46.3 overs by Sri Lanka against Pakistan
The lowest total successfully defended156/8 in 50 overs by New Zealand against Sri Lanka

Analysis of runs scored in T20I matches

Average total playing first133
Average total playing second124
Highest total achieved141/3 in 17 overs by Sri Lankan women against Indian women
Highest chase141/3 in 17 overs by Sri Lankan women against Indian women
The lowest total successfully defended138/6 in 20 overs by Indian women against Sri Lankan women

Run Scoring Challenge

A look at the above table gives us an idea of how difficult the scoring has been at this venue for the batters. Briefly, these average scores are pretty contrasting to what we see at the more renowned grounds these days. Markedly, batters have to battle their way through to earn every run here.

Run Scoring Challenge at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium

Specifically, the initial purpose of building this stadium was to have a venue in Sri Lanka where One Day International matches could be played throughout the year with fewer chances of rain affecting the matches. In due time, this ground served that purpose for quite a few years.

Lease Issues after Inauguration

To point out, after hosting the inauguration match in March 2001, the ground couldn’t host any further games till 2003 due to non-payment of lease money. However, the issue was resolved shortly and the hosting of international matches started again.

Floodlights Issue

This stadium has seen many ups and downs since it was established. Sadly, poor floodlights contributed to the ground being declared not suitable for international matches by ICC in 2010 but the installation of new floodlights in 2013 meant the ground was again ready for hosting international cricket.

Floodlights Issue in Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium

Advantage over Other Stadiums

However, this ground has an edge over other cricket stadiums in Sri Lanka because it is the only one that has been built in a dry zone of the country which is known for matches being halted due to frequent rain throughout the year.

Advantage over Other Stadiums

Highlights of the Ground

  • Mahela Jayawardene is the top run scorer on this ground scoring 1148 runs here.
  • Likewise, Shikhar Dhawan scored 132 not out here which is the highest individual score of any batter on this ground.
  • In 2005, Sourav Ganguly completed his 10,000 one-day international runs on this ground.
  • Muttiah Muralidharan has taken the most wickets at this ground. He leads the wicket takers’ chart with 42 one-day international wickets.
  • The highest team total on this ground is 385/5 in 50.0 overs by Pakistan versus Bangladesh.
  • The lowest team total on this ground is 88 by England versus Sri Lanka.
  • Additionally, two hat-tricks have been taken by bowlers on this ground. One by Ferveez Maharoof of Sri Lanka and the second by Taskin Ahmed of Bangladesh.

Conclusion

Certainly, cricket enthusiasts, who want to see a balanced contest between bat and ball, love to see matches being organized there. Additionally, this ground provides a good old school hard-fought cricket experience where hitting boundaries is not so easy and bowlers get the reward for maintaining good lines and lengths.

Lately, the ground has been starved of international cricket matches and the Sri Lankan Cricket Board prefers to organize their home series at more renowned cricket stadiums in the country like Galle, Pallekele Cricket Stadium, R. Premadasa Cricket Stadium etc. In conclusion, it will be a thrill to see them focus on improving the cricket facilities of this ground as well and provide the live watching experience to the local fans.

What is the capacity of Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium?

The capacity of stadium is 16800.

When was Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium established?

It was established in 2000.

Who is the top run scorer in Rangiri Dambulla Stadium?

Mahela Jayawardene is the top run scorer on this ground who scored 1148 runs.

What is the area of Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium?

The area of Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium is 60-acres.

What is the boundary length of Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium?

The straight boundary distance is 80 meters and side boundary distance is 75 meters.

I am an experienced sports writer and cricket enthusiast specializing in general topics having more than 5 years of experience in this field.

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