Galle International Cricket Stadium
Known to cricket enthusiasts as the one of the luckiest grounds for Sri Lanka’s national team, the Galle International Stadium covers over four hectares and is considered to be one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world. The grounds favour spin bowling, which is thought to be a specialty of the Sri Lankan team. It is situated in front of the historic Galle Fort, flanked on both sides by the Indian Ocean, and was first built in the late-19th century as a race course. Over time, the venue eventually declined in use as a race course and started being used for cricket matches, until it was officially declared a cricket stadium in 1927. When the stadium was later upgraded to international cricket standards, it became the seventh international cricket stadium to be able host Test matches in Sri Lanka; the first of these Test matches was won by the home team against New Zealand.
In the wake of the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004, the buildings and grounds of the stadium were found to have received substantial damage; regardless, it was used for weeks to shelter hundreds of people that had been affected by the disaster. Renovations began in 2006, including the construction of several new buildings, a new pavilion and a media centre. The stadium was reopened in 2007, and was built to accommodate far more spectators than it had originally been capable of.