UNESCO announce it as having unauthorized structures
Uncertainty looms over Galle International Stadium's future
Galle International Stadium has been a home to Sri Lanka’s international cricket for more than nineteen years now. However, the stadium, situated near the Galle Fort, is on the verge of being declared as a public sports ground as the UNESCO could delist the Fort as a world heritage.
According to UNESCO, the buildings in the Stadium are the unauthorized structures and failure to remove such construction before December 2019 will result in the Fort losing its World Heritage status.
Minister of Home Affairs Vajira Abeywardena has confirmed that the Galle cricket stadium will be removed by demolishing the structures around the grounds and will be later open to the public.
Former Sri Lanka cricketers like Mahela Jayawardene have urged the authorities to reconsider their decision to shift the stadium to a new location.
“This is sad! Galle cricket ground has a unique place in international test cricket history for its location. Also one of the most successful venues for the national team. I would like to plead and humbly request authorities and SL Government to reconsider this decision,” Jayawardena tweeted.
The first Test of Sri Lanka’s ongoing series against South Africa was also held at this venue where the visiting side were defeated by 278 runs.
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