By BIPIN DANI
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) International Venues Manager, Godfrey Dabrera gave full credit to the Minister of Sports, Namal Rajapaksa and SLC Vice-President/Tournament Director, Ravin Wickramaratne for successfully hosting the Lanka Premier League (LPL) T20 Cricket Tournament at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Hambantota.
“The LPL was played at a time when the COVID-19 had caused a significant destruction to the international sports calendar. The absolute focus on the LPL and the dedicated role played by the Minister of Sports, Namal Rajapaksa is highly commendable,” Dabrera told the Daily Mirror yesterday.
“Everything fell in place when the Minister received the greenlight from the health authorities to hold the LPL, ensuring to keep in place safety measures throughout the tournament.”
Hosting all matches at one venue with double headers was indeed a difficult and challenging task.
“After considering and exploring all options, the LPL moved to the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium and the Minister, along with SLC and the Tournament Director, Ravin Wickramaratne handled a tremendous volume of work within a short space of time with amazing efficiency to make the event a huge success.”
“The general perception was that there would be a certain slowness in the wickets and the pitch would further slowdown but our groundsmen made sure that the contest between the bat and the ball was a fair one.”
“In T20 Tournaments, we have seen pitches deteriorating as the tournament progresses and the ball keeping low but the pitch throughout the LPL had enough bounce,” the Venue Manager added.
“The weather conditions didn’t play a huge role in determining the final result of many matches. The ground staff was able to cover not only the pitch but even the entire ground when it was raining in day/night or night games.”