Authorities look to finish reconstruction by August March 27, 2006

Galle may host South Africa Test

The Galle International Stadium in the aftermath of the tsunami © Getty Images

Sri Lanka's cricket authorities are hopeful the tsunami-hit Galle International Stadium will be ready to host a Test match against South Africa in August.

"We have received a clearance from the government to rebuild the stadium," said K. Mathivanan, a member of Sri Lanka Cricket's interim committee. "We plan to finish construction by August and that will allow us to play one Test there when South Africa come."

South Africa, scheduled to tour Sri Lanka in August for two Tests, were the last team to play a Test at Galle before the tsunami struck in December 26 2004. The stadium's main pavilion, including the dressing-rooms, and the indoor nets were severely affected.

Shane Warne, the Australian leg-spinner, Steve Waugh, the former Australian captain and Ian Botham, former England all-rounder, visited the stadium after the disaster and pledged their support to rebuild it.

Galle is a happy hunting ground for Sri Lanka, with six victories in their 11 Tests at the venue.