Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) yesterday took a vital initiative by opening the first ever turf wicket in the North at the St Patrick’s College Jaffna by Chief Guest and Postal Services Deputy Minister Sanath Jayasuriya. The guests of honour SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga, Security Forces Commander General Udaya Perera, and Principal of St Patrick’s College also participated at the event.
The Blessing of the Turf was done by Jaffna Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Savundaranayagam. This turf wicket was a concept of former Test captain and current Chairman of National Selectors Sanath Jayasuriya MP.
Jayasuriya was supported by Major General Udaya Perera and Brigadier Thirinawu Karasu of SL Army to make this a reality for budding cricketers of the North and East. Sri Lanka Cricket Executive Committee unanimously approved the expenditure of three million rupees for the Turf Wicket and five millions rupees for the ground construction.
Sri Lanka Army played a major role by giving the manpower needed for this magnanimous venture.
The opening was followed by a Twenty20 cricket match played by past national heroes 1996 World Cup winnings team members Sanath Jayasuriya, Promodaya Wickramasinghe, Upul Chanadana and Ravindra Pushpakumara. Former national cricketers Niroshan Bandarathilake and Lanka de Silva took the field against the North and East Combined Under 23 team (SLC Under 23 Finalist).