Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will felicitate its chief curator, Anurudda Polonowita, at the end of next month's second Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Polonowita, who will be retiring as chief curator on March 31, has been involved with the game in Sri Lanka for 53 years in different capacities, including as vice-president of SLC and chief selector. He also played 20 first-class matches, including an unofficial Test against India in Ahmedabad in 1964.
"We have plans to felicitate Polonowita in recognition of the contribution he has made to Sri Lanka cricket," Ajith Jayasekera, Sri Lanka Cricket's CEO, said.
Polonowita was involved in the development and construction of the Khettarama Stadium (now the Premadasa Stadium) in Colombo, and was encouraged by former Sri Lankan president R Premadasa to pursue his interest in curating. "I did the pitches and ground, and it was during that time that he asked me what I wanted. I told him I would like to go to Australia and do a course in curatorship," Polonowita said. "Within a couple of months, it was arranged and I was sent to Australia for three months."
Polonowita was instrumental in setting up a curators' department in 2000, where seven graduates with agricultural degrees were recruited. Speaking of his protégés, he said: "They were trained under me and now they are recruited as curators at stadiums owned by SLC."